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Guilty plea set for last defendant in prison bribery scheme

The final person facing charges in an alleged kickback scheme involving Mississippi's former corrections commissioner plans to plead guilty.

Posted: Apr 2, 2018 1:38 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The final person facing charges in an alleged kickback scheme involving Mississippi's former corrections commissioner plans to plead guilty.

Federal court records show insurance agent Guy "Butch" Evans will plead guilty April 24. He could be the last person convicted in one of the largest bribery schemes uncovered in recent Mississippi history. Former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps acknowledged accepting more than $1.4 million in bribes from private contractors and is serving a nearly 20-year prison sentence.

Defense lawyers for Evans did not respond Friday to phone calls and emails seeking comment.

Evans was indicted in 2016 for making cash payments of $1,400 to $1,700 a month from January 2013 to May 2014 to Epps in exchange for the prison system's insurance business. That's at least $23,800 Evans is accused of passing to Epps in meetings in the parking lot of Corrections Department headquarters or in restaurants. The indictment says Evans was kicking back part of his commission from insurance sales, and also cites wire transfers that Evans made.

Court papers suggest that Evans confessed wrongdoing to FBI agents.

A grand jury indicted Evans on charges of conspiracy and bribery, which carried a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years, plus fines of up to $500,000. Evans pleaded not guilty and his trial had been repeatedly delayed, but was proceeding toward starting on April 9.

Court papers say Evans will waive indictment and plead guilty to a separate charge that prosecutors have not yet filed, instead of pleading guilty to one or more of the counts in the indictment. That arrangement that is sometimes used in plea bargains to allow a defendant to admit to a less serious crime.

The government had also demanded that Evans forfeit the more than $44,000 he gained from the scheme.

Eight other people have been convicted so far. A ninth person, former Harrison County Supervisor William Martin, killed himself in 2015, hours before he was due in federal court on bribery charges.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17807191
Hinds16967332
Harrison14298204
Rankin11280221
Jackson10976190
Lee9088145
Madison8619169
Jones6782118
Forrest6236124
Lauderdale6128192
Lowndes5564120
Lafayette5229101
Lamar507465
Washington4951125
Bolivar4149109
Oktibbeha409482
Panola388281
Pontotoc378560
Warren3698103
Monroe3693110
Marshall358570
Union357764
Pearl River3508106
Neshoba3499154
Leflore3122109
Lincoln307688
Hancock296362
Sunflower293075
Tate281162
Alcorn273554
Pike271081
Itawamba270063
Scott260849
Yazoo257156
Prentiss254554
Coahoma251555
Copiah250749
Tippah250150
Simpson243872
Leake238467
Marion225973
Grenada224272
Covington222473
Adams215371
Wayne215034
Winston207771
George204839
Newton200046
Attala197464
Tishomingo195661
Chickasaw189644
Jasper182538
Holmes172268
Clay167537
Tallahatchie157535
Stone152925
Clarke148662
Calhoun141822
Smith130726
Yalobusha123835
Walthall115037
Greene114529
Noxubee114126
Montgomery112736
Lawrence107617
Carroll106922
Perry105331
Amite102426
Webster97424
Claiborne89725
Tunica89321
Jefferson Davis88930
Benton86523
Humphreys84824
Kemper81020
Quitman7149
Franklin70717
Choctaw63813
Wilkinson59925
Jefferson57121
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 443009

Reported Deaths: 6662
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson649101007
Mobile31746574
Madison28413217
Tuscaloosa21566275
Montgomery20088332
Shelby19452132
Baldwin17333189
Lee13261107
Morgan12678142
Etowah12141181
Calhoun11555206
Marshall10487123
Houston9031164
Limestone838181
Cullman8296124
Elmore8243110
Lauderdale7946107
DeKalb7900107
St. Clair7876130
Talladega6523112
Walker6050183
Jackson603245
Colbert558194
Blount548586
Autauga540762
Coffee466964
Dale412785
Franklin377550
Russell358415
Chilton346873
Covington340880
Escambia339244
Tallapoosa3163109
Dallas313696
Chambers305470
Clarke303336
Pike265231
Lawrence255855
Marion254661
Winston234742
Bibb222948
Geneva213047
Marengo210531
Pickens200431
Hale186144
Barbour183438
Fayette178829
Butler174860
Cherokee166031
Henry160025
Monroe152621
Randolph146636
Washington142727
Clay130746
Crenshaw124845
Macon122837
Cleburne122125
Lamar120622
Lowndes116836
Wilcox108322
Bullock104628
Perry100518
Conecuh98022
Sumter90627
Greene77923
Coosa64018
Choctaw52124
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