Wife of former state representative headed to prison

JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - Teresa Malone, 58, of Carthage, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate to 41 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for paying kickbacks to former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.

Malone was also ordered to pay $225,000 in restitution.

“Teresa Malone chose money over morals, as her criminal actions reflected selfishness, greed, and a lust for power, all the while harming our state and every Mississippian," said U.S Attorney Mike Hurst.

Malone pleaded guilty before Judge Wingate in October 2017 to paying kickbacks to Epps in exchange for receiving a consulting agreement involving the MDOC and its operations.

During her guilty plea, Malone admitted to receiving $225,000 from a consulting agreement with an out-of-state contractor arranged by Epps. Malone received $5,000 a month, out of which she paid Epps varying amounts from $1,000 to $1,750 per month. The scheme lasted from October of 2010 through July of 2014.

At today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Wingate stated: “This whole matter has rocked the state and the persons in charge of rehabilitating others have become villains of the same system. Mrs. Malone received $225,000 for little or no work product and this is an extreme offense and there is a need for deterrence.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Darren LaMarca, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division Patrick A. Lemon, and Financial Analyst Kim Mitchell.