A Johnson County man is facing five counts of felony theft, after being charged late last week. Billy Luther Jones, 66, of Dry Hill was arrested at his home after being accused of scamming several individuals over a nearly six-year period beginning in 2005. Jones is listed as president of the Viper Corporation, a company name that he allegedly used to make himself appear as a legitimate businessman. Living with the company vice-president, Sherry Charles Barker, in their home on Dry Hill Road, Jones reportedly sold land that he didn’t actually own to several local residents, including property that comprises the Ridges Subdivision.

Following several isolated incidents, a group of seven individuals who each claimed to have been cheated by Jones came together to press criminal charges against him, accusing Jones of selling land that he didn’t own, borrowing large sums of money that he did not pay back, and for property rentals that he didn’t pay for. Marilyn Good, Terry Wallace, Elizabeth Wallace, Richard Dugger, Carolyn Dugger, Tracy Presnell, and Ben Logan approached the district attorney with the case.

According to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Kristin Helm, the district attorney’s office turned the case over to the TBI on January 22, 2009. The case stated that Jones had been taking investment money for land development on property that did not actually belong to him. The total sum of the money involved was more than $250,000. Jones was indicted on February 24, 2010, and TBI made the arrest on February 26th.

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