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Press Release

Hattiesburg Businessman Pleads Guilty To Federal Kickback Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Miss. -- Local businessman and former Hattiesburg Fire Chief T.L. Pittman, Jr., 82, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to a kickback scheme which defrauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis, FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen and Special Agent in Charge Mary L. Lewis of USDA Office of Inspector General.

A federal criminal bill of information was filed against Pittman on May 1, 2014, charging him with one count of theft of government funds. Pittman is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett on August 18, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. The fraud charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.

Pittman owns multiple apartment complexes throughout the State of Mississippi which were financed through USDA. Pittman, through his company, Century Management, Inc., hired a contractor to work for one of his USDA-financed apartment complexes. When the contractor was hired, Pittman agreed to pay the contractor a certain dollar amount per hour but Pittman required the contractor to kickback a portion of his hourly wage to Pittman. The kickbacks continued from 2011 through 2013.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the USDA Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst is prosecuting the case.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at:

(866) 720-5721

You can also fax information to:

(225) 334-4707

or e-mail it to:

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Updated January 7, 2015