Epps sentencing delayed in Mississippi prison bribery case

In this May 7, 2013, file photograph, Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps tells reporters reporters that the Mississippi Supreme Court has blocked the execution of Willie Jerome Manning, that evening at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss. Epps resigned Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 without giving a reason. Corrections officials said that Epps is leaving the prison agency immediately after 12 years as commissioner and 32 years of state service. The department says he will move to retired status. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, file)
MSDOC Commissioner Christopher Epps
MSDOC Commissioner Christopher Epps

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A federal judge has again delayed sentencing in a bribery case for the former head of the Mississippi prison system.

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate on Monday set May 24 as Christopher Epps’ new sentencing date.

It is the latest of several delays in an extensive investigation centered on Epps. He pleaded guilty in February 2015 to charges of money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Prosecutors say Epps took $1.47 million in bribes. He faces up to 23 years in prison and is forfeiting $1.7 million in assets.

Epps was Mississippi’s longest-serving corrections commissioner, holding the job a dozen years and retiring in November 2014, a day before indictments against him were made public. Several people tied to prison contracts have been indicted, and some have pleaded guilty.

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