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Insurance agent pleads guilty in MDOC prison bribery scandal

Photo courtesy of TeleSouth Communications Inc.

The final person facing charges in the Chris Epps prison bribery scandal has pled guilty.

Insurance Agent Guy “Butch” Evans, pled guilty to aiding and abetting tax evasion. Evans is a 64-year-old Jackson native who served as Mississippi Department of Corrections’ (MDOC) insurance broker of record to provide health and dental policies for MDOC employees.

Evans received commissions from the insurance companies that provided the policies he sold to MDOC employees and paid a portion of his commissions to MDOC Commissioner Christopher B. Epps.

According to U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze, and IRS-Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Ted A. Magee, Epps received approximately $19,200.00 in cash payments from Evans during the 2013 tax year. Evans made the payments to Epps with the full knowledge that Epps would not report the money on his return. Epps requested cash payments during face-to-face meetings with Evans and would hoard or structure the cash payments received so they would go undetected for tax purposes.

In addition, Epps and Evans discussed withholding a portion of the cash payments as a “fee” to cover the Defendant’s tax obligations on the unreported monies but ultimately failed to pay the tax owed.

Evans is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Wingate on July 10, 2018, at 9:30 a.m., and faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in federal prison and a $100,000 fine.

In total, nine people have been convicted in the scandal with Epps saying that he accepted more than $1.4 million in bribes from private contractors when he pled guilty in 2015. He is currently serving a nearly 20-year sentence at a federal prison in Florida.

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