Prison phone firm to pay state $2.5M over bribery case

Published 9:21 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017

JACKSON (AP) — A prison phone company will pay Mississippi $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit tied to a bribery scheme.

Attorney General Jim Hood sued 10 people and 12 companies in February, seeking repayment of state money. Hood said then that companies are responsible for bribes paid by their agents to then-Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.

CEO Brian Oliver said Tuesday that Global Tel-Link “always acted with integrity” and settled to avoid long litigation, saying Epps was a single “bad actor.”

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Epps is serving nearly 20 years in prison for crimes connected to $1.4 million in bribes he took. Sam Waggoner pleaded guilty to one count of bribery in 2015. He testified Global Tel-Link paid him starting in 2011, passing part of the money to Epps. Another company earlier settled for $2 million.