- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on a doctor accused of bribing former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

A defense lawyer says a 57-year-old Jackson physician accused of bribery fell victim to a “shakedown” by former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.

Dr. Carl Reddix pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a seven-count felony indictment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Ball.

After Reddix’s release on $10,000 unsecured bail, lawyer Lisa Ross didn’t deny that the 57-year-old Reddix gave Epps money, but said Epps coerced Reddix. Some others convicted of bribing Epps have also said he demanded money.

Reddix is accused of paying cash bribes to Epps from 2012 to 2014, starting at $6,000 monthly and rising to $9,500. The bribes started after Health Assurance, Reddix’s company, won additional contracts to provide medical care at state prisons.

Reddix faces up to 80 years in prison and $1.75 million in fines if convicted.

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3:10 p.m.

A Jackson physician has pleaded not guilty to charges that he bribed former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.

Dr. Carl Reddix entered the plea Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Ball.

Ball released Reddix on $10,000 unsecured bail and set an Oct. 3 trial in the case.

A seven-count felony indictment unsealed Wednesday accuses the 57-year-old doctor of paying cash bribes to Epps in amounts between $6,000 and $9,500 a month between 2012 and 2014.

The indictment alleges Reddix paid the money to secure and retain prison medical contracts for his company, Health Assurance. Prosecutors say those contracts were worth $29 million.

Reddix faces up to 80 years in prison and $1.75 million in fines if convicted.

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11:42 a.m.

A physician associated with a company that provides health care for prisoners has been indicted for bribing former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.

Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday they’re charging Dr. Carl Reddix, 57, with six counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.

The indictment says Reddix gave Epps $8,000 to $9,500 per month from May through October of 2014. In exchange, Health Assurance LLC retained contracts to provide health care at four privately-run prisons. Prosecutors say the contracts were worth $29 million.

Reddix told The Associated Press Tuesday that he unsure if he would be indicted and didn’t name his lawyer.

The physician is scheduled to appear Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Ball. Reddix faces up to 80 years in prison

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