New information about Sherwood Middle ‘volunteer’ accused of Southern Heritage Classic ticket scheme

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- WREG is learning new information about a man accused of scheming to sell and give away tickets to the Southern Heritage Classic while posing as a Shelby County middle school volunteer.

Memphis Police are now investigating Jason Smith for theft.

According to the police report, he sold several tickets to at least three people for $20 a piece.

The folks at Southern Heritage Classic said they have their own documents to prove he never actually paid for those tickets he was selling.

Officials with SHC claim Smith wrote a check for $2,300 for 100 tickets. They sent us a document that shows the bank couldn't cash the check, forcing them to invalidate the tickets. They said they recovered 69 of them.

Memphis Police said Smith sold those tickets at Sherwood Middle School, where he was posing as a watchdog and volunteer. Officials said he even set up a fake website.

MPD is now one of several agencies that's crossed Smith's path.

WREG found out Smith has been arrested in Georgia and Florida, and right now he is on parole in Kentucky for theft by deception, which is a felony charge. Authorities there said he wrote bad checks.

Not to mention, Smith was also indicted in Southaven in 2014. Court records state he pretended to work for a church and scammed a hotel. The charge was remanded.

WREG went to the address Smith listed on lawsuits he just filed against Shelby County Schools and the Southern Heritage Classic. Earl Hicks answered the door.

"He don't live here," he told us. "I haven't seen Jason in four or five months."

Hicks said he lives with Smith's grandpa and has known Smith since he was a child, but he told us he wouldn't trust Smith with his money.

Meanwhile Smith sent us several statements through text messages.

He wrote, "I was accused of establishing a fake website... lol. That website was approved by the Principal of Sherwood Middle school. The website was a link used on the school website. The website was not a school website, it was the Sherwood Watch D.O.G.S. website. My email was used with that website, and numerous of emails were sent from that website including to the Shelby County Superintendent's office, Shelby County School Board members and school officials."

He also wrote, "I was giving Shelby County School ID that was taken when I was placed on 'administrative leave' but now terminated."

"During my interview process, my background came back and it was discussed by myself, Shelby Count schools and the principal. I was given an office, a radio, keys to my office and responsibility of assisting with disciplinary, issued home suspensions, in school suspensions and cleared suspensions... now does that sound like a 'Volunteer.'"

As for the tickets, "Mr. Jones is a liar. He said that I came into his office and spoke with him. I never spoke with Mr. Jones and never went into his office. The check was delivered by a carrier and the tickets were brought to the school by the carrier and I have the bill to show you for that as well. For him to say that I gave him the check and that I was in his office is a lie. I've never met the man a day in my life."

"Never even spoke to him either. He has made numerous false statements. Also I did not know the check was returned until the story broke on Tuesday. No one from the Southern Heritage Classic has reached out to me at all."

Shelby County district officials told WREG a staff member didn't follow proper protocol by allowing Smith in the building and they are enhancing security measures.

WREG reached out to Sherwood Middle principal for a comment, but we have yet to hear back.

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