Who’s Pranking Our Federal Judges?

Did you all see this story about one of our federal judges getting ripped off by some scheming convicts:

Inmates at five Miami-Dade jails have free access to banks of phones, 600 in all, located in common areas. They can only make collect or prepaid phone calls of up to 30 minutes. To make them, an inmate must open an account with GTL and use their thumbprint to activate the phone.

Despite those safeguards, Corrections authorities say they are unable to prosecute violators for fraud. Investigators would have to prove the inmate arranged the scheme and actually made the calls — a nearly impossible burden when an inmate could claim he simply allowed another cellmate to use his account, Ryan said.

As for the culprits outside the jails, tracking down the girlfriends or friends of the inmates is not easy because many use prepaid cellphones with numbers that disappear after a few weeks.

The Miami U.S. district judge, who asked not to be named because of security concerns, noticed a $120 charge to her fax line in January. She spent hours haggling with the phone company and the charges were eventually removed.

Investigators say the calls to the judge were made through the jail phone accounts of inmates Donte Jefferson, 19, an armed robber, and Lenare Palmer, 26, an accused killer. Both men’s phone rights were suspended for 30 days. They were not charged criminally.

Jefferson is awaiting sentencing on April 16 for violating probation. Palmer, accused of gunning down a DJ at Liberty City’s Caleb Center in July 2007, is awaiting trial on a murder charge.

There’s something wrong with this story.

Ok, perhaps you cannot prosecute criminally the inmates, but how about losing their phone privileges if the conduct continues?

Also, I find it hard to believe — frankly I think it’s bullcrap — that Global Tel*Link is completely helpless and unable to control or monitor in any way phony call forwarding done by inmates on these highly secure lines?

Come on.

If that is the case, maybe another provider can?