Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Butch Evans pleads guilty to tax fraud

The Justice Department issued the following statement.

– Guy E. “Butch” Evans, 64, of Jackson, pled guilty today before United States District Judge Henry T. Wingate to aiding and abetting tax fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze, and IRS-Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Ted A. Magee.

Evans was an insurance broker 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. 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. 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.

U.S. Attorney Hurst praised the efforts of the FBI, IRS, Leake County Sheriff’s Office, and other law enforcement agencies who assisted in the investigation of this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary Helen Wall, Kristi Johnson and Abe McGlothin are prosecuting the case.


Anonymous said...

Any way he thought this was legit? Like when a private sector employer 'taxes up' a payment of some sort to cover the tax the employee will owe?

Anonymous said...

So, it looks like Evans received the commission checks and kicked back a third of this to Epps. Since the commission checks were paid to Evans, he was obviously liable for all of the taxes. I'm assuming Evans was in the 33 % tax bracket. This means On every $1000.00 Evans received, 1/3 went to the IRS, 1/3 went to Epps and Evans kept approx. $333.00. First of all this is a no win scheme on Evans part. Secondly, the IRS is only out the amount Epps would have paid above Evans' rate, if any because of his higher tax bracket. The only loser in this is Evans. Please tell me my assessment is flawed and Evans did not get caught in this trap.

Anonymous said...

The 'taxing up' was small potato issue compared to the 'direct bribe' of a public official. Truth probably is that many more payments were made, not just the short time indicated in the indictment/guilty plea.

These cafeteria plan insurance deals with state agencies should be looked at in every agency - this is not an unusual 'offer' from these brokers. The state should create one standard plan for all agencies and cut a good deal for all employees, but no ---- the directors of the agencies want this plum to hand out within their on fiefdom. Wonder why?

Anonymous said...

to 3:24....ignorance of the law is not a defense.

Anonymous said...

Mike Hurst is doing a phenomenal job. He should be AG.

Epps Ain't The Lone Ranger... said...

4:04 - I'm 3:24. I simply asked a question. What's the difference, if you know, or would you rather just insult other posters?

And, I will say this.....I worked for the state for many years. It was not uncommon, in fact it was typical, for agency heads to bring insurance salesmen/brokers into all the offices on a round robin tour of offices every year and they were the only ones allowed to sell cancer and life policies in our offices. We were required to give them time to address employees as a group and to give them a desk/table to meet individually with each employee to sign them up for insurance. The payments were also handled through payroll deduction.

Anonymous said...

State Agency Directors, purchasing officers and personnel officers
receive gift cards, sports tickets, invites to golf tournaments,
hotel rooms and condos. The list is endless. But elected officials
do the same- and you better believe the state auditor and attorney-
general look the other way.

Anonymous said...

@6:34pm. Yes in Mississippi there is definitely a double standard. One set of rules for elected officials and another set of rules for everyone else.

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for the FEDS this state would be a sewer. So much corruption. Keep lockin em up.

Anonymous said...

Bone the MDOC staff by paying kickbacks for access to sell MDOC staff financial products.

Probably a good thing his time will be federal.

Anonymous said...

Epps was nothing but an agency head. Not an elected official. His greed just outpunted his coverage.

If he had limited himself to Braves tickets and gift cards to Outback, he'd still have the job.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately not a totally uncommon practice. Same thing in most every state. If the insurance broker wants to play he’s got to play.

Anonymous said...

to 7:45.. i concede your point. if things were different, they wouldn't be the way they are now.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much was done with no indictment. Butch certainly got
Conspicuously wealthy around 1990 with Maimi condo's, boats, drugs and very fast life style. Raised eyebrows then. Suspect a there is more to this story.

Anonymous said...

3;41 - think your calculations and the way the IRS would look at this are slightly different.

Evans was subject to pay tax on the total $1000 (as used in your example) as earned income. IF he could have claimed Epps as a sub-contractor or agent, he could have deducted the $333 paid him - but obviously, Epps couldn't make this claim. So he had no deduction and owed the entire tax.

But Epps owed tax on the $333 as well - but of course since it was an illegal payment he didn't report it. Anyway, the tax side is slightly more than your calculation.

But the crime was the bribe to Epps - maybe Evans pled to the tax charge as a lower plea agreement - but I doubt he would be facing this problem if the IRS were the only issue.

Anonymous said...

Evans sold his business to LS and LS continued this practice. Snitched on Evans to avoid paying for the book of business.

Anonymous said...

6:34 and 6:46 - since you have so much knowledge of elected officials receiving payoffs and bribes, which are being ignored - bring it on and inform us all. Or take it to Hurst; he's not afraid to take on a case.

But I'll bet both of you just like to bitch and complain because you "JUST KNOW" that its happening. No evidence; no personal knowledge; but like to complain about those that are elected and you don't like or agree with.

If there was all this corruption, I'm sure somebody would expose it. Since you can state so positively on the subject, I'm sure you have the evidence. Heck, you can probably get the snitch fee for exposing the corruption. If in fact you actually can defend your accusations.

Anonymous said...

10:37, You are right about that. I can't see this being to end for LS. He might have crossed the line.

Anonymous said...

10:58 - Actually I do have personal knowledge as I was employed for 25 years with the agency and experienced it first hand, as did 2000 others. The first incident was when an agency director brought Senator Robert Crook (Ruleville) around to all our offices asking for our votes and telling us he had been responsible for employee raises and being told by our director if we expected job protection through 'The Personnel Board', we'd vote for Crook.

The second that I recall was an agency director bringing around a public service commissioner named Burke or Burkes (do I have the job right?), from Clinton, telling us all we were expected to vote for the man. The first name might be Delos.

Then there were the multiple incidents of insurance agency people trotted through with the sole-source opportunity to write insurance contracts on payroll deduction. These were annual affairs, not one time incidents.

We had no idea back then what the Hatch Act was (agency was 100% federally funded) or what violations we were witnessing. We only wanted to keep our jobs. We had no knowledge then nor now if paybacks were involved, but you can use your imagination.

Anonymous said...

OK. At the end you prove my point. You (we) had not knowledge then nor now "IF PAYBACKS WERE INVOLVED, BUT YOU CAN USE YOUR IMAGINATION".

Thanks for the confirmation - you have no evidence if there was any payback or any corruption. I can tell you from what you describe - even though you don't come close to getting one of the candidate's name or position correctly - that the Hatch Act doesn't prohibit those acts.

Your earlier statement was that these officials were receiving payoffs and bribes. That was my challenge to substantiate. I'm glad you now admit its all just your imagination, thinking that everybody must be a crook if they are in public position.

Ooops. Didn't you say that you were in a public position for over twenty years? I guess we should assume you were receiving a payoff or a bribe all that time, based on your concept.

Thanks. Would you mind giving your name so we can turn you in for your corruption?

Anonymous said...

Please stop writing about Butch, he is tired of reading this stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Butch, have you packed your toothbrush?

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