BATON ROUGE, La. Kirksey M. Nix Jr., who is serving a life sentence for murder in Louisiana, has been accused of bilking as many as 2,000 homosexuals out of millions of dollars in a behind-bars scam, authorities said Friday.
A Louisiana district attorney said Nix, 46, reputedly a onetime member of the "Dixie Mafia," was indicted on 37 counts of conspiracy to commit theft. The indictment says the scam was operated from inside the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.
Nix and 14 co-defendants were running personal ads "in gay magazines and other publications," and "correspondence was initiated leading to telephone calls that led to squeezing money out of the victims," 20th Judicial District Attorney Hal Ware said.
Authorities said that through a series of letters and phone calls, inmates established a rapport with their victims. Inmates sometimes disguised their voices as that of young boys. They conned their victims into sending money to pay for visits to sick relatives, to pay off "crooked" lawyers or to buy food once they were released from prison, Ware said.
Between 300 and 2,000 victims lost millions of dollars in the scam, Ware said.
Authorities said a former inmate identified Nix as the mastermind of the scams.
Nix has also been implicated in the contract murder of a Mississippi judge and his wife in retaliation for the theft of scam proceeds, authorities said.
Nix, an Oklahoma City native, is serving a life sentence for the 1972 murder of a New Orleans grocer on Easter morning. Nix's father was Judge Kirksey Nix Sr., who served 15 years on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals before his death in 1979.