/Former state senator to plead guilty in Epps bribery case

Former state senator to plead guilty in Epps bribery case

Benjamin, 69, from Madison was indicted on August 15, 2015, on three federal charges that he conspired in mail fraud and paid kickbacks and bribes to Christopher B. Epps, former chief of corrections, in return for contracts with companies he represented. To change his not guilty plea, he will appear before Senior Judge Henry T. Wingate. He was scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 3. Indictment against Benjamin alleges that he paid Epps to Benjamin’s Mississippi Correctional Management for contracts to provide drug and alcohol treatment services to prisoners at Alcorn and Simpson county state work centers. For the work, the company received approximately $774,000. Epps is also accused of helping to secure contracts with Alcorn and Chickasaw counties in exchange for consulting services. These services were provided during the construction and operation of three regional corrections centers. Benjamin is charged with receiving monthly kickbacks from Carter Gobal Facility Management for consulting fees he received. This was after the company was hired by MDOC to maintain their facilities. It was worth approximately $4.8 million. In early 2015, Cecil McCrory, a Rankin County merchant and former legislator, pleaded guilty to the first indictment that accused them of participating in a bribery scheme for corrections contracts. McCrory’s lawyer has stated that he will request the court to withdraw his client’s plea.