AROUND MISSISSIPPI — Following an investigation by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, two Bolivar County men have been arrested and charged with multiple felony counts each of False Pretenses for pest control fraud. The two men have been identified as Cleveland residents Albert Matthews, 58, and George Matthews, 38.
The men are accused of conducting pest control services without a license throughout the summer in Bolivar, Leflore and Washington counties. After further investigation, no evidence of termites was detected in any of the trees that were treated.
The Bolivar, Leflore and Washington county Sheriff’s Departments and the Greenville and Cleveland Police Departments assisted MDAC’s Bureau of Plant Industry and Agricultural Theft Bureau in the investigation.
MDAC said it has reason to believe that additional properties may have also been treated by these men.
In a related item, the MDAC has terminated, effective immediately, the professional services license of James Wilson, owner of Wilson’s Termite and Environmental Services of Brandon for violating state standards relating to termite treatments.
This regulatory action will also prohibit the offender from serving in any other capacity for other pest control businesses offering termite services in the State of Mississippi.
The investigation began after inspections revealed that Wilson’s Termite and Environmental Services failed to perform pesticide treatments according to regulation, potentially leaving properties vulnerable to termite infestation. This discovery, along with complaints from concerned homeowners and employees, led to the decision to cancel Wilson’s license.