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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday - May 3, 2004

GREENVILLE - Acting United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that WELDON B. DENNY pled guilty in federal court in Greenville on Monday, May 3, 2004, to a felony relating to the investigation of the Meg Scott Phipps Campaign 2000 for Commissioner of Agriculture.

A criminal information filed by the United States Attorney's Office on March 1, 2004, charged DENNY with making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 22, 2003. Specifically, DENNY, 78, of Raleigh, N. C., falsely informed the FBI that he was unaware of illegal cash payments made by James H. Drew III to Meg Scott Phipps, when, in truth and fact, DENNY knew of three illegal cash payments totaling at least $20,000.00.

U. S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard tentatively has scheduled sentencing for the September 7, 2004, term of court in Greenville. DENNY could receive a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, and a supervised release term of three years.

This case resulted from an investigation conducted jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, in conjunction with the United States Attorney's Office and the Office of Wake County District Attorney C. Colon Willoughby. The Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division of the U. S. Department of Justice also played a role in the investigation. Assistant U. S. Attorney Dennis M. Duffy and Executive Assistant U. S. Attorney John Stuart Bruce are handling the case for the government.

The grand jury investigation will continue.

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