Trial Date Set in Mississippi Insurance Kickback Case

June 13, 2007

A July 23 trial date has been set for a former Lafayette County, Miss., supervisor and an Ecru businessman charged in kickback case involving a county employees’ health insurance program.

The trial will be held in U.S. District Court in Oxford.

Former Supervisor Gary Massey of Oxford and insurance agent Ken Nowlin of Ecru have pleaded not guilty to the federal charges outlined in a 41-count indictment made public June 8. Both are free on $5,000 unsecured bonds.

Massey is running in the Democratic primary for the seat he lost in 2003. Massey faces five other Democrats, including incumbent Billy Lamb, in the Aug. 7 primary, according to a article.

The indictment alleges that from 1996 until mid-2004 that Massey, a former insurance agent, and Nowlin violated federal law by Nowlin’s paying what federal prosecutors termed “a commission” to Massey for the Lafayette County Employee Health Care contract.

Before he became a supervisor in 1995, Massey was the insurance agent of record for Lafayette County. Federal prosecutors claim Massey used his influence to get Nowlin the job as insurance agent of record in exchange for the commission. The indictment alleges Massey accepted payments of more than $235,000.

Prosecutors allege Nowlin would receive payment for services in two checks made out to his office from Lafayette County’s Total Plan Services. Nowlin is accused of taking the checks and telling his office to write a separate one to Massey for a “consulting fee.”

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