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Alleged advertising scammer facing new charges

Posted July 29, 2008
Updated July 30, 2008

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— A woman charged in connection with an advertising scheme in Apex faces similar charges in other North Carolina counties.

Lois Cozart is one of five business owners in downtown Apex who bought advertising from Kristal Hill last fall. Cozart said she paid $247 to place an ad on a takeout menu for a local restaurant that was never produced.

"Then I Googled her name and found that she had done this same advertising scheme in Mooresville,” Cozart said.

In October, investigators said Hill surrendered to authorities after seeing a story about herself on WRAL. Hill has been convicted 14 times for similar crimes across the state. Each time, she was sentenced to probation.

In spite of her convictions, Greensboro police said Hill recently scammed a business there out of nearly $3,000 on the sale of a billboard. She also has nine other charges pending in five counties.

"It's really discouraging that people can do this to small-business owners or to anybody,” Cozart said.

Hill is awaiting trial in Wake County for the crimes she is accused of committing in Apex. Many victims want to know why more isn't being done to make Hill pay for them.

The district attorney said the system is partly to blame.

"We just don't have an up-to-date, accurate, user-friendly information system in the courts," Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said.

Willoughby said the 25-year-old computer system, developed before the Internet, does not allow easy access to background information from other counties. The heavy case load doesn't help either.

"Trying to budget enough time on each of those to get a good and accurate criminal history really puts a strain on the system," Willoughby added.

It puts a strain on the the victims as well.

"That is not right, that she can continue to do this and not get into trouble," Cozart said.

A spokesperson for Department of Correction said they are aware of the numerous charges pending against Hill. Bring arrested is a probation violation and can result in jail time. However, the department has not asked a judge to revoke Hill's probation.

49 Comments

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  • SEOpro Jul 30, 2008

    I used to be the county webmaster for a county government for 2+ years - and about 40% of the county computers were on Windows 95 in 2004! My hunch is they are STILL on Windows 95 - no kidding. The IT director was no IT guy. He was a displaced County Administrator that needed a place to hang his hat. He had ZERO IT credentials of any kind. I even had to help him with his email.....(and I would "laugh out loud" if it weren't so pathetic)

    So - that's county GuBmenT for ya.....you certainly don't get what you pay for........

  • airbornemonty Jul 30, 2008

    Did I just read that the systen is partially to blame? I say the system is totaly to blame for crying out loud.

    I just can't imagine anyone breaking the law 14 times and then being put on probation each time.

    I have to admit that some women can really manipulate the ol' jelly-belly judges and that's a fact.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 30, 2008

    Her warden is waiting on her.

  • b4self Jul 30, 2008

    maybe they need to take some of the computers out of the prison libraries and give to the court system bet the prisoners can find anything they want.

  • caniac2 Jul 30, 2008

    There is one local contractor that has taken over 100,000 dollars from unsuspecting people and did not do any of the work. They were told by the State Attorney Generals Office (Consumer Protection Division) and the local police that this was a Breach of Contract (civil matter not criminal). HMMMMM.... 250 dollars and its a Felony Fraud, 100,000 dollars and its a breach of contract. Go figure. Just a bunch of lazy, full of excuses goverment workers enjoying taxpayers money going to Disney World, the Bahamas, etc. The system is screwed up for sure.

  • WHEEL Jul 30, 2008

    It's never the court systems fault is it? It's always lack of resourses, old computer systems, heavy work loads, blah blah blah.  They expect all of the information that they need to prepare for trial to just drop in their laps and when it doesn't it is someone elses fault.

  • twc Jul 30, 2008

    She's pretty much done, now. A judge will get wind of this and it's not going to be easy for her this time. After all these years!!

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 30, 2008

    Send her to prison for 20 years that should teach her.

  • Hasbeen Jul 30, 2008

    I think that is awful harsh Hondaman. She probably had a real job selling advertising at one time and uses that companies good name. You make it sound as though she walked in, said, advertise in my unknown media and walked out with $250 bucks. Having been covicted 14 times, she probably has gotten away with it 100's of times. She may be a low life, but, she knows how to con people. I would love to be as intelligent as the likes of you Hondaman. Life must be easy being so smart.

  • FragmentFour Jul 30, 2008

    --A spokesperson for Department of Correction said they are aware of the numerous charges pending against Hill. Bring arrested is a probation violation and can result in jail time. However, the department has not asked a judge to revoke Hill's probation.--WRAL

    Okay, so WHY NOT? Furthermore, if we can do a Google search this woman's name and find out she has other, similiar, charges against her, why can't the court system, regardless of how poor it's pre-net computer system is?

    FE's got a good point - and I've got a whole pile of 5/14" floppies I'll donate if the court system folks can just decide they need to learn how to use them.

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