Ex-Mississippi lawmaker to plead guilty in Epps bribery case - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

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Ex-Mississippi lawmaker to plead guilty in Epps bribery case

Source: WLBT archives Source: WLBT archives
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Former state Senator and Madison businessman, Irb Benjamin, is expected to become the sixth person to plead guilty in a prison contract bribery scandal.

He is in court Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Benjamin faces three separate criminal charges having to do with the case involving former MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps. Benjamin was charged in a 3 count indictment returned by a federal grand jury with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and with two counts of bribery.

According to the indictment, from some time in 2010 until September 2014, Benjamin gave Epps bribes and kickbacks in exchange for Epps awarding or directing the awarding of MDOC contracts or work to Benjamin’s company, Mississippi Correctional Management (MCM), to provide alcohol and drug treatment services to inmates at MDOC work centers in Alcorn and Simpson Counties.

MCM was paid about $774,000.00 as a result of those contracts.

According to the indictment, Benjamin paid Epps for his help in getting MCM consulting contracts with Alcorn, Washington and Chickasaw Counties.

Those contracts involved Benjamin providing consulting services during the construction and later the operation of 3 regional corrections facilities. Benjamin supposedly provided consulting services to assist the regional corrections facilities in obtaining and maintaining accreditation by the American Correctional Association.

The contract with Alcorn County paid MCM about $399,260.00; the contract with Washington County paid MCM about $245,080.00; and, the contract with Chickasaw County paid MCM about $217,900.00.

The indictment also alleges that Benjamin paid Epps monthly kickbacks from the consultant fees Benjamin received from Carter Gobal Lee Facility Management (CGL), after CGL obtained a contract in 2014 to provide maintenance services to MDOC facilities. Epps used his influence over CGL to get Benjamin the job as a consultant for CGL.

RELATED: Two MS businessmen enter pleas in Epps bribery case

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