Donald C. Smaltz, Independent Counsel In Re Espy, announced today that:
A Federal Grand Jury sitting in New Orleans, Louisiana, has returned
a superseding Indictment in the case entitled United States v. Henry William Espy, Jr.,
Alvarez T. Ferrouillet, Jr., Ferrouillet & Ferrouillet, and Municipal Healthcare
Cooperative, Incorporated which was originally filed on July 9, 1996. The superseding
Indictment names and charges as an additional defendant, John J. Hemmingson. During
the time period of the Indictment, Mr. Hemmingson was Chairman of Crop Growers
Corporation. Mr. Hemmingson is also a defendant in a case entitled United States v. Crop
Growers Corporation, John J. Hemmingson, and Gary A. Black which was filed in federal
court in the District of Columbia on May 22, 1996.
In the superseding Indictment filed today, Mr. Hemmingson is named in
Counts Seven, Nine, Ten and Fourteen. Count Seven alleges that Alvarez T. Ferrouillet, Jr.
and John J. Hemmingson transported in interstate commerce a $20,000 check drawn on a Crop
Growers Insurance, Inc. account, which was signed by John J. Hemmingson and made payable
to Alzarez T. Ferrouillet, Jr. Attorney-at-Law, knowing the check had been taken by fraud,
in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2314 and Title 18, United States
Code, Section 2.
Alvarez T. Ferrouillet, Jr. and John J. Hemmingson are charged in
Counts Nine, Ten and Fourteen with violating the federal money laundering statutes. They
are charged in Counts Nine and Ten with causing the $20,000 Crop Growers Insurance
fraudulently obtained check to be deposited in a groccery store bank account with the
intent to conceal and disguise the source of the proceeds, in violation of Title 18,
United States Code, Sections 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) and 1957 and Title 18, United States Code,
Section 2. Count Fourteen charges Alvarez T. Ferrouillet, Jr. and John J. Hemmingson with
a $21,000 wire transfer of criminally derived property from the Henry Espy for Congress
account at the Omni Bank in New Orleans, Louisiana to the Henry Espy, Jr. and Alvarez T.
Ferrouillet, Jr. account at First National Bank of Clarksdale in Clarksdale, Mississippi,
in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957 and Title 18, United States
Code, Section 2. The Indictment alleges that the $21,000 was used to pay down a $75,000
Henry Espy campaign loan from the First National Bank of Clarksdale Mississippi. The other
counts in the original Indictment filed on July 9, 1996 have been incorporated and are
unchanged in the Superseding Indictment.
If convicted under Counts Seven, Ten and Fourteen, Mr. Hemmingson
could be sentenced on each count to a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of up
to $250,000. If convicted under Count Nine Mr. Hemmingson could be sentenced to a maximum
of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
The charges contained in the superseding Indictment are merely
accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Independent Counsel's investigation is ongoing.
NOTE: Copies of the superseding Indictment are available from the Office of Independent