Epps gets nearly 20 years in corruption case

Christopher Epps (Photo: Madison County Detention Center)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) –  A federal judge is sentencing the former head of Mississippi’s prison system to nearly 20 years in prison in a wide-ranging corruption case.

U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate handed down the sentence Wednesday to 56-year-old Christopher Epps.

The longtime Mississippi corrections commissioner pleaded guilty in 2015 to money laundering and filing false tax returns. Epps pleaded in connection with nearly $1.5 million in bribes he took from contractors doing business with Mississippi prisons.

Prosecutors had recommended that Epps spend only 13 years in prison because he implicated others in the bribery scheme.

Wingate sentenced Epps to 19 years, seven months.

Epps has been jailed the past several months for violating terms of his bond.

 


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Federal prosecutors are recommending that Mississippi’s former corrections commissioner spend 13 years in prison.

Assistant Attorney U.S. Darren LaMarca made the recommendation Wednesday to U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate.

Former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps pleaded guilty in 2015 to money laundering and filing false tax returns. He faces up to 23 years in prison.

Epps pleaded in connection with nearly $1.5 million in bribes he took from contractors doing business with Mississippi prisons. He has been jailed for violating terms of his bond and was wearing a jail jumpsuit in court Wednesday.

Defense attorney John Collette says 13 years would be an appropriate sentence considering the aid Epps has given in building cases against others convicted in the scandal.

Wingate is warning he could give a heavier sentence.

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