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Judge delays 
Epps sentencing
Oct 31, 2016 | 2376 views | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSON (AP) — A federal judge has again delayed sentencing in a bribery case for the former head of the Mississippi prison system.

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate on Monday set May 24 as Christopher Epps' new sentencing date.

It is the latest of several delays in an extensive investigation centered on Epps. He pleaded guilty in February 2015 to charges of money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Prosecutors say Epps took $1.47 million in bribes. He faces up to 23 years in prison and is forfeiting $1.7 million in assets.

Epps was Mississippi's longest-serving corrections commissioner, holding the job a dozen years and retiring in November 2014, a day before indictments against him were made public.

Several people tied to prison contracts have been indicted, and some have pleaded guilty, inlcuding ex-senator and Alcorn County native Irb Benjamin of Madison.

Benjamin admitted in court that he gave Epps bribes and kickbacks in exchange for the state selecting his company, Mississippi Correctional Management, to provide drug and alcohol treatment services in Alcorn and Simpson counties.

He also admitted paying Epps to help the company obtain consulting contracts from Alcorn, Washington and Chickasaw counties.

Benjamin pleaded guilty to one count of bribery and faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
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