JACKSON, Miss. – Christopher Epps and Cecil McCrory plead not guilty in federal court Thursday in Jackson after they were arraigned on a 49 count indictment. Epps is the former Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) Commissioner, and McCrory is a businessman, former Mississippi legislature, former Justice Court Judge, and former Rankin County School Board President.
According to their indictment McCrory gave Epps bribes and kickbacks in exchange for Epps awarding MDOC contracts to McCrory’s companies. McCrory secretly paid Epps in either cash, through checks paying off Epps’s home mortgage, through wire transfers paying the loan on Epps’s beach condominium, or through wire transfers to investment accounts owned by Epps. Epps then illegally structured the deposits of cash received from McCrory into Epp’s various bank accounts, or used the cash to purchase cashier’s checks, all in amounts less than $10,000. This structuring alone reached almost $1 million from January 2008 through June 2014. Epps then concealed the crime by filing false tax returns where he failed to report the income.
The charges against Epps and McCrory include honest services wire fraud, honest services wire fraud conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, money laundering conspiracy, illegal structuring of financial transactions, and filing false tax returns.
Both men were released on a $25,000 dollar bond.
Trail is scheduled for January 5, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.
No comment from Epps and his attorney:
Comments from U.S. Attorney and others involved in the investigation: