The Paying former Dept. of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps so they could benefit from Corrections contracts is the charge against Irb Benjamin, 69, of Madison, and Sam Waggoner, 61, of Carthage. The two were indicted by a federal grand jury, announced Acting United States Attorney Harold Brittain, FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Donald Alway, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jerome McDuffie, U.S. Postal Inspector Robert Wemyss, and Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering.
According to the indictment returned against Benjamin, from some time in 2010 until September, 2014, Benjamin gave Epps bribes and kickbacks in exchange for Epps awarding or directing the awarding of MDOC contracts or work to Benjamin’s company, Mississippi Correctional Management (MCM), to provide alcohol and drug treatment services to inmates at MDOC work centers in Alcorn and Simpson Counties. MCM was paid about $774,000.00 as a result of those contracts.
Epps may have also helped get Benjamin consulting jobs in Alcorn, Chickasaw and Washington counties while jails were being built there. The consulting work was so those prisons could maintain accreditation.
For Carthage businessman Sam Waggoner, the charges were less extensive. The bribes and kickbacks happened from 2012 to Aug. 2014, said the indictment.
Waggoner was a consultant for Global Tel-Link (GTL), which provided telephone services at MDOC facilities. The Criminal Information cites two specific instances in 2014 where Waggoner paid Epps kickbacks from money Waggoner received from GTL as a consultant.