Donald C. Smaltz, Independent Counsel In Re Espy, today made the following statement:
A federal Grand Jury sitting in the District of Columbia has returned
a four- count criminal Indictment against Five M Farming Enterprises, Brook Keith
Mitchell, Sr., and Brook Keith Mitchell, Jr. At the time material to the charges in
the Indictment, Brook Keith Mitchell, Sr. operated Five M Farming Enterprises in
Greenville, Mississippi, a corporation with business pending before the Agricultural
Stabilization and Conservation Service within the United States Department of Agriculture.
Count I of the Indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy and obtaining in excess
of $770,000.00 in subsidy payments, to which they allegedly were not entitled, from the
Department of Agriculture's Price Support and Production Adjustment Program, in violation
of Title 15, United States Code, Section 714m(d). The Indictment charges the defendants in
Counts II and III with false statements to the Department of Agriculture in May of 1993
for the purpose of obtaining subsidy payments in violation of Title 15, United States
Code, Section 714m(a) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2. Count IV of the
Indictment further charges the defendants with false entries in reports and statements
submitted to the Department of Agriculture in violation of Title 15, United States Code,
Section 714m(b) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.
As to the individual defendants, a conviction on the conspiracy,
false statement and false entries counts is punishable, on each count, by a maximum term
of imprisonment of 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a mandatory special
assessment of $50.00. As against Five M Farming Enterprises, a conviction is punishable,
on each count, by a maximum fine of up to $500,000.00 and a mandatory special assessment
The charges contained in the 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 Indictment are available from the Office of Independent Counsel.