Eleven more suspects could be charged in a mulit-million dollar state prison bribery scheme. That's according to information released by the prosecutor in federal court Wednesday. MPB's Mark Rigsby was there.
Former Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to filing a false tax return and money laundering. Epps' attorney, John Colette, says he's cooperating with the investigation.
"Well, obviously it's still a very sad situation. He's baring with it day-to-day. That's all pretty much I can say at that," says Colette.
"Is he remorseful?"
"Oh, absolutely. This is a very, very trying and sad situation to a very stellar career. He's trying to deal with it on a day-to-day basis," says Colette.
U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca says Epps used his influence as commissioner to secure $800 million in state contracts for 16 companies. In return, Epps received $1.4 million dollars in kickbacks through a middle-man to shield his participation. Wednesday's hearing before Judge Henry Wingate was mostly about getting additional information from the companies involved. LaMarca says the documents could implicate eleven more suspects in the scheme, as well as provide an accurate value of the contracts. The information will be used in sentencing. It could mean a five year difference to Epps' sentence.
"I don't think anybody is prepared to go to prison. We're just dealing with this, like they said a long time ago, we're just doing it a day at a time," says Colette.
LaMarca says he plans to indict 10 of the new suspects by Epps' scheduled sentencing July 18th.