Tuesday, August 15, 2017
JACKSON Attorney General Jim Hood settled his office's claims against Global Tel*Link Corp. for $2.5 million today. The corporation is one of 12 that Hood has pursued legally in connection to the former Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections Christopher Epps' scandal.
U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate sentenced Epps to nearly 20 years in prison, after pleading guilty to money laundering and bribery this spring.
"I am pleased with Global TelLink for cooperating and quickly resolving this matter with the State's taxpayers," said Hood said in a press statement. "As a company that continues to contract with the State, Global TelLink quickly approached our office seeking settlement after the Epps scandal. Due to their cooperation, we have now resolved this matter."
Hood has pursued 11 civil actions accusing 10 individuals and 12 out-of-state corporations of using "alleged 'consultants' as conduits to pay bribes and kickbacks to then-Commissioner Epps for the awarding and retention of MDOC contracts," the press release says.
The bribes, the Associated Press reported, helped Epps pay off his mortgage, buy a beach condo, buy two luxury cars and invest hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Two others involved in the Epps scandal still face charges of bribing Epps: insurance broker Guy E. "Butch" Evans and Teresa Malone, the wife of a former state representative, the Associated Press reported in May. Discussions in court indicated that six or seven other people are still under investigation.
"We will continue to aggressively pursue these remaining cases not only to disgorge these other companies and individuals of their ill-gotten profits, but also the value of the public contracts," Hood said. "Corporations who play these illegal games with Mississippi taxpayers' money should take note that the state of Mississippi will get its money back and then some."
To date, Hood's office has recovered $4,500,000 on behalf of Mississippi taxpayers related to the MDOC Prison Bribery Scandal.
Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at [email protected].
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