Monday, October 3, 2016

Benjamin to plead guilty in Epps scandal

Former State Senator and lobbyist Irb Benjamin will plead guilty to conspiracy and bribery at a hearing scheduled for October 18 in U.S. District Court.  A federal grand jury indicted Mr. Benjamin on August 18, 2015 for conspiracy and bribery.  Benjamin obtained MDOC contracts through his company Mississippi Correctional Management.  Benjamin also obtained contracts for other companies by acting as a consultant.  He would allegedly split the consulting fee with then-MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps.   The first page of the indictment below provides the plot of the scheme hatched by the Commissioner and the Jack Gordon protege.    He is represented by "Plea Bargain" Joe Holloman.
JJ broke the story in November 2014 that Mr. Benjamin was involved in the Chris Epps scandal

 A former lobbyist for Mississippi Prison Industries resigned his position as warden of the Alcorn County jail yesterday.  WTVA reported:

Alcorn County's jail warden, Irb Benjamin, is resigning from his position. The warden announced his plans to step down Thursday. Alcorn County Supervisor Lowell Hinton said Benjamin's resignation came as a surprise to the supervisors. He said Benjamin lives in Jackson and manages two other jails. He said the distance is a factor in why Benjamin is leaving. ....

*The Desoto County Board of Supervisors hired Mr. Benjamin at $3,000 a month in 2008 as a consultant to assist the county in building a new jail.  Controversy erupted after two lower bids were rejected after Mr. Benjamin added language to the bid requirements that applicants must have built jails that cost at least $8 million.  One company with a lower bid had constructed a jail for $6 million. Article

*MCM obtained approval to operate  the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility.  The facility accepts county and state prisoners. Article

*MCM managed the Marion/Walthall regional facility.

*The Winona Times reported in 2010 that Commissioner Epps recommended Mr. Benjamin to the Carroll County Board of Supervisors: :

Jail consultant Irb Benjamin gave the Carroll County Board of Supervisors a financial briefing on the Vaiden Jail and assured them that the facility is in good standing.

Benjamin, a representative from the Mississippi Correctional Management was referred to Carroll County Sheriff Jerry Carver from Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps

The change of plea notice that was filed Friday states:  

COMES NOW the Defendant, IRB BENJAMIN, by and through his counsel ofrecord,  JOE M. HOLLOMON, and notifies the Court and the U.S. Attorney's office of Defendant's intent to change his plea to guilty on the charge brought  against him by the government. RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED, this the 30 day of  September, 2016.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Wish the Feds would focus some of their attention on the crooks in Madison County!

Anonymous said...

2:43, which crooks would you like to get it Madison co?

Anonymous said...

What is happening with Evans?

Anonymous said...

Dang, the Justice Department may have to look into every county Sheriff and Supervisors that house or housed state inmates in the last 20 years.

Sing, Chris EPPS Sing!!!! Don't let a single one of the crooks get away.

Makin' A List.. said...

4:23 - Why did you waste those keystrokes?

Anonymous said...

I commend Joe for working out great pleas for his clients.

Anonymous said...

The crooks in Madison County are too well connected to the powers in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

5:02 I would bet the FBI is looking into every MsBOP contract and association Epps ever had.The only hope this felon has to reduce his long sentence is to fully cooperate with authorities, like he did pertaining to the paper products contract.Many men and their consultants are on the nervous diet as we speak.

Who Nex? said...

More than a few got the 'green apple trot'.

Johnny Wadd said...

Any idea why he hasnt been sentenced yet KF?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS