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Press Release

Mississippi Businessman Charged with Bribery of Former Corrections Commissioner

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

Jackson, Miss – Guy E. "Butch" Evans, 61, of Jackson, has been charged with paying bribes and kickbacks to former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner (MDOC) Christopher B. Epps in exchange for exclusive access to sell insurance products to MDOC employees, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Harold Brittain, and FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Donald Alway.

Evans is charged in a two count indictment with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and bribery. According to the indictment, beginning in 2012 and continuing until 2014, Evans gave Epps bribes and kickbacks in exchange for the exclusive access to sell insurance products to MDOC employees. The indictment alleges that, beginning in January 2013 and continuing through May 2014, Evans received approximately $4,300 per month from the products sold through his exclusive access and he made cash payments to Epps ranging from $1,400 to $1,700 per month.

Acting U.S. Attorney Harold Brittain stated: "Corrupt individuals who place the integrity of government at risk will be held accountable for their actions. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners remain unwavering in our commitment to root out public corruption at all levels and to restore the public trust."

FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway applauded the investigators and prosecutors, whose hard work and determined efforts revealed these additional participants in this conspiracy of public corruption and led to the charges announced today. "Individuals and companies who do business with the government are held to a high standard of accountability," said Alway. "When these individuals decide to use the government to supplement themselves at the public’s expense, they can expect the FBI to come knocking to hold them accountable. The FBI in Mississippi will continue to work alongside our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to identify and investigate those that criminally exploit the government."

Evans made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball. The case has been set for trial on October 3, 2016 before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate. The maximum penalty for the conspiracy count is 20 years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine. The maximum penalty for the bribery count is 10 years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mary Helen Wall.

The public is reminded that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated August 24, 2016

Public Corruption