Judge denies motion to withdraw McCrory’s guilty plea in bribery scandal case

FILE PHOTO Cecil McCrory, a Brandon businessman, walks away from the federal courthouse in Jackson, Miss., Monday, July 18, 2016, after a hearing on evidence relating to himself, Mississippi prison phone consultant Sam Waggoner and former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps, regarding a prison system bribery scheme. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — A judge decided to deny a motion for a businessman who wanted to withdraw his guilty plea in the bribery scandal case that involved former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps

Cecil McCrory was in court Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate.

McCrory pleaded guilty last year to money laundering conspiracy. He filed a motion to dismiss his plea earlier this month. He wanted to withdraw the guilty plea because he claims he was not adequately represented by counsel during that time.

Judge Wingate denied that motion.

In court Wednesday, McCrory’s new attorney, Carlos Tanner, called to the stand FBI Special Agent Tyler Breedlove. He testified that the bribery case pending against Epps stemmed from an investigation into Walnut Grove Mayor Grady Simms.

Six people have been accused so far of providing kickbacks to Epps. WJTV learned in court that more indictments are expected.

The FBI said they have evidence that McCrory made checks towards Epps’ mortgage on his Flowood home and Biloxi condo. He started aiding the FBI with their investigation in March 2014 after he found out that had the evidence.

At one point, McCrory met Epps to give him $40,000 in cash to launder through one of his businesses as a consignment sale.

McCrory faces up to 20 years in prison and is forfeiting $1.7 million in assets.

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