In various parts of the United States, including the Northern District of Indiana, citizens are being targeted by emails or phone calls threatening them with prosecution for failure to comply with jury service in federal court. The email or individual calling may identify him or herself as a "Federal Agent," and they may or may not indicate the communication is from the "Federal Warrant Service" or some other fictitious federal law enforcement agency. The email or caller will state that a bench or arrest warrant has been issued for failure to appear in court and then give the person the option of paying a fine to avoid arrest. Typically, they will ask the person to obtain a "green dot" or "blue dot" voucher or debit card.
These emails and phone calls are fraudulent and have no connection to either the United States District Court or to the United States Marshals Service.
Neither this Court nor any other law enforcement agency will ever email or call someone to request the payment of a fine for failure to appear for jury duty (nor will personal information, such as a social security number, ever be requested over email or the phone). Typically, jurors who miss jury duty will be contacted by the Clerk’s Office and may, in certain circumstances, be ordered to appear in court before a judge. Any fine for failure to appear for jury duty will be imposed by a judge during an open session of court, and the summoned juror will be given the opportunity to explain the failure to appear before any fine would be imposed.
If anyone is contacted or has been contacted by someone requesting such payments, please do not make the payment. Instead, immediately contact the United States District Court Clerk’s Office in Lafayette at 877-377-1219, and state that you may have been a target of juror fraud.
More information about this type of fraudulent activity can be found on the U.S. Courts national site.