Moooving right along Slabbed Profiles Beef Plant Prosecution Aftermath: Cheryl Moultrie Speaks Out

After one of our Georgia based readers stopped in and left a comment earlier this week on my last Beef Plant post from December 2008 I openly wondered if my predictions concerning bad times ahead for convicted felon Robert Moultrie’s company, The Facility Group, had come to fruition. In response Nonya provided this answer:

They are going broke, Robert’s in jail, Cheryl is trying to sell everything off, TFG is just a skeleton crew now. How the mighty have fallen. They are losing all their land leases at the end of the year, sold off a bunch of their cattle (and lost their butts on the sale, heheheh!). They are almost penniless. Cheryl is trying to sell a property right now the Robert put up with the Bank of North GA…..

My good friend Russell followed up as well and he emailed me a story from late last month that appeared in the Marietta Daily Journal where Cheryl Moultrie did some venting and attempts to put ye ol’ spin on the events that lead to her husband’s incarceration. The story represented a big wet kiss for the Moultries that few of the locals bought into as evidenced by the reader commentary.  I’ll add that despite the fact her husband was sold out to the feds by disgraced former Mississippi Governor, turned insurance defense lawyer, turned failed Senatorial Candidate Ronnie Musgrove, Cheryl Moultrie takes up for Mississippi’s most famous toe sucker in the process displaying classic denial which in turn most likely explains why our Georgia based readers still hold a great deal of enmity toward them. Jon Gillooly has the story:

Cobb socialite and philanthropist Cheryl Moultrie has had a rough two years.

Her husband, the prominent business leader Robert Moultrie, was hauled off to prison in January after pleading guilty in August 2008 to making an illegal campaign payment to a Mississippi governor.

And if that wasn’t enough, Moultrie’s construction management firm, which at one point employed about 430 people to manage projects valued at more than $700 million, is on the verge of collapse. Continue reading “Moooving right along Slabbed Profiles Beef Plant Prosecution Aftermath: Cheryl Moultrie Speaks Out”

Saturday Catch Up: Robert Moultrie Gets His Time, The Facility Group Implodes

It has been uncommonly busy here in my little corner of the construction market thus these Saturday catch up posts ahead of a day watching U12 soccer. Next up is an update on a case we covered gavel to gavel, the Beef Plant Saga which cost the Mississippi taxpayers at least 55 million dollars. I’ll start with this puff peice from June, 2007 on Robert Moultrie courtesy “Smart” Business magazine:

A few years ago, one of Robert L. Moultrie’s best construction project managers came to him with a request.

“I’d like to go into sales,” the employee said. “There’s no way,” Moultrie responded. “You’re too valuable to us in our construction division.”

“Well, if that’s the case, I’ll leave,” he said.

Moultrie and the employee went on, and after much deliberation, Moultrie decided to let him try sales.

“The mistake I made was I should have put him in sales 10 years earlier,” he says. “He was awesome, and he knew what he wanted to do … and today the volume of business he brings to the organization is unbelievable.”

While that employee has brought great business to The Facility Group, it may never have happened if Moultrie, chairman and founder, had a different attitude. If he told the guy not to let the door hit him on the way out, or if he acted like he had 1,000 other things to do, his business may not be as successful as it is today, something he attributes to his employees, who grew the company to nearly $300 million in revenue last year, up from $10 million in 1986.

“My problem was simple,” Moultrie says. “I had so many weaknesses, I had to hire so many great people to take care of all my weaknesses, that it’s caused me to end up with a great organization.”

Of course what the article leaves out is the behind the scenes assistance Mr Moultrie gave his “salesmen” in terms of political contributions and the like that always seemed to follow large contract awards to The Facility Group. Spreading the wealth worked well as Mr Moultrie grew the Facility Group to a 300 million dollar company. But his luck ran out Thursday along with the “year and a day” concept when Mr Moultrie was sentenced to 16 months in the pokey. Continue reading “Saturday Catch Up: Robert Moultrie Gets His Time, The Facility Group Implodes”

Another Beef Plant Felon Gets an Appointment Date to the Greybar Hotel

This time it is Charles Morehead’s turn to face the camera and answer the age old question, “Where’s the beef?” Based on the fate of the others I’d judge Morehead’s chance of getting just probation somewhere between 0-5%.

Lessons learned?  Never trust a former ambulance chaser from Batesville.

The Sun Herald has the story:

A Georgia businessman ensnared in the Mississippi beef plant scandal Continue reading “Another Beef Plant Felon Gets an Appointment Date to the Greybar Hotel”

A “fall” festival? Draper sentencing set in beef plant fiasco set for Halloween

James Draper was such a minor player in the beef plant case that I doubt few even know his name; yet, of all the folks involved, Draper is the one facing the longest sentence – and, if the government gets what it wants, his sentence will be even longer after the Halloween Day hearing. The Clarion-Ledger ran a brief update in today’s paper. h/t Phunk and Wagnalls

James Draper, convicted by a jury for his part in the Mississippi Beef Plant scandal, will be sentenced on Oct. 31. The government is asking Chief Judge Michael Mills to deal more harshly with Draper, a refrigerator salesman from Tennessee, than a pre-sentence report recommends.

Draper was convicted July 23 on two counts — aiding and abetting the interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud, and of money laundering — in bilking the state out of $187,725. The government filed a four-page motion Tuesday urging Mills to consider that Draper lied during his two-day trial in U.S. District Court.

Based on the charges against him, it would seem Draper had no information to trade for a lighter sentence – but there’s more to the story of this puzzling aspect of the beef plant case tan the  charges against Draper suggest: Continue reading “A “fall” festival? Draper sentencing set in beef plant fiasco set for Halloween”

A "fall" festival? Draper sentencing set in beef plant fiasco set for Halloween

James Draper was such a minor player in the beef plant case that I doubt few even know his name; yet, of all the folks involved, Draper is the one facing the longest sentence – and, if the government gets what it wants, his sentence will be even longer after the Halloween Day hearing. The Clarion-Ledger ran a brief update in today’s paper. h/t Phunk and Wagnalls

James Draper, convicted by a jury for his part in the Mississippi Beef Plant scandal, will be sentenced on Oct. 31. The government is asking Chief Judge Michael Mills to deal more harshly with Draper, a refrigerator salesman from Tennessee, than a pre-sentence report recommends.

Draper was convicted July 23 on two counts — aiding and abetting the interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud, and of money laundering — in bilking the state out of $187,725. The government filed a four-page motion Tuesday urging Mills to consider that Draper lied during his two-day trial in U.S. District Court.

Based on the charges against him, it would seem Draper had no information to trade for a lighter sentence – but there’s more to the story of this puzzling aspect of the beef plant case tan the  charges against Draper suggest: Continue reading “A "fall" festival? Draper sentencing set in beef plant fiasco set for Halloween”

Grilled Musgrove and Toe Cheese Anyone? The Beefy Ironies are sooo Delicious. Alan Lange Plays the Chef

We’ve had a number of irons in the fire here at Slabbed and the now departed USA v Moultrie prosecution was one of our most popular subjects.  Our Georgia based readers still visit everyday and leave an occasional comment.  We are pleased some of y’all have decided to stick with us. We have been following the beef plant fallout from afar as other cases we cover have had activity. Today I have to chip in my two cents.

Politics is not my strong suit, and I don’t have much use for political bickering. I’m fair about it though. It was politics when the Scruggs lynch mob was going after Jim Hood for not prosecuting Scruggs only to find out later investigatory techniques used by the feds such as the wiretap were not available to Hood.  Additionally it was later revealed federal investigatory conduct in judicial bribery would be considered entrapment under state law here in Mississippi. It was a good straw man while it lasted though as Hood has the PR skills of a caveman and was in parts his own worst enemy.

I mention politics because now some of the former Dickie Scruggs lynch mob is making excuses for current Senatorial candidate, confirmed toe sucker and the always for sale Ronnie Musgrove and the ironies are very delicious. To give our Georgia based readers some context we need to jump in the wayback machine and travel back a month to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Moultrie pleaded guilty Monday in Oxford, Miss., to giving an illegal gratuity to the re-election campaign of then-Miss. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove in 2003……… Continue reading “Grilled Musgrove and Toe Cheese Anyone? The Beefy Ironies are sooo Delicious. Alan Lange Plays the Chef”

Moos update and the udder-ly ridiculous spin on the beef plant case

Moo-v-ing straight into the update with a summary of post-plea moos and news and udder-ly ridiculous spin from cyberspace about the beef plant case – starting with what the Clarion Ledger has online.

  • $50 on the skinny one, an editorial cartoon from the Ledger’s award winning cartoonist Marshall Ramsey;

Gratuity can get you appointment as "ambassador" – Moultrie got one to Bureau of Prisons

I’m having the hardest time wrapping my arms around “gratuity” as a crime – that puts me in the good company of Dr. Marty Wiseman, director of the Stennis Institute at Mississippi State University, according to the Daily Journal (h/t folo and deep bow to Dr. Wiseman for the laugh)

Longtime Mississippi political observer Dr. Marty Wiseman expressed surprise at the new charge, saying access is “the reason most people give political contributions” of any substance.

“If this is all there is,” he said, referring to the government’s case, “it’s kind of like the country song I Shaved My Legs for This?.”

I haven’t had my hair done (read the lyrics) but I had thought about going up and blogging the trial – but after the pleas, I’ve given more thought to the powerful and unique argument in former Governor Siegelman’s appeal.

Every President who has ever appointed a contributor as Ambassador to France, every Senator who has ever exercised the Senatorial prerogative of putting forward a nominee for the United States District Court after such person supported the Senator’s campaign, every Governor and state Legislator, every Mayor and City Council member throughout the nation, and indeed every constituent of every such person, needs to know here the line is drawn between politics and crime. And the line must not be subject to the whim of prosecutors. Continue reading “Gratuity can get you appointment as "ambassador" – Moultrie got one to Bureau of Prisons”

Plea hearings set for Moultrie co-defendants Morehead and Cawood

Notices of plea hearings are up on the Pacer system for Robert Moultrie’s co-defendants Charles Morehead and Nixon Cawood.

If my understanding of the limited information on the notices is correct, they are waiving indictment and will plea to a one count bill of information. Since Moultrie entered his plea on a one-count bill, I’m assuming (risky, I know) Morehead and Cawood are also pleading guilty to offering a gratuity.

Cawood’s hearing is set for 10:00am Wednesday (tomorrow) and Morehead’s for Thursday at the same time.

A post-script on developments in USA v Moultrie

I thought commenter Mktgpro and others would be interested in knowing that in addition to all the plea documents filed yesterday, Moultrie’s defense filed this Motion to withdraw their Motion to Strike grand jury testimony.

Defendants Facility Holding Corp., d/b/a The Facility Group, Facility Management Group, Inc., Facility Construction Management, Inc., and Facility Design Group, Inc. (collectively “TFG”) hereby withdraw their Emergency Motion to Strike Pleadings Containing Grand Jury Testimony Based Upon Violation of Rule 6(e) (Document # 160) and request that the Court strike the motion from the pleadings.

The motion speaks for itself but feel free, as always, to comment.