Donald C. Smaltz, Independent Counsel In Re Espy, announced:
Today, in the case of United States v. Henry William Espy, Jr.
in Oxford, Mississippi, Judge L.T. Senter, Jr. dismissed the remaining count of a
six-count indictment against Henry Espy, the brother of the former Secretary of
Agriculture Alphonso Michael Espy. The case before Judge Senter encompassed the six counts
that New Orleans Federal Judge Edith Brown Clement transferred to Mississippi from the
Eastern District of Louisiana in November 1996.
Independent Counsel Donald C. Smaltz stated:
"Henry Espy's acquittal now resolves the last of the charges in this
particular indictment. In sum, five of six defendants in what was originally a 16-count
indictment have been adjudged guilty. We accept the Judge's decision and move
On February 24, 1997, Alvarez T. Ferrouillet, Jr., a New Orleans
lawyer, pleaded guilty to this same indictment, which charged one count of conspiracy and
five counts of false statements to the First National Bank of Clarksdale, a
federally-insured bank, in connection with a $75,000 loan to Henry Espy. Municipal
Healthcare Cooperative, Inc., a healthcare consulting firm owned equally by Ferrouillet
and his brother, pleaded guilty to the same six counts. Ferrouillet & Ferrouillet, the
New Orleans law firm in which Ferrouillet was a partner with his brother, pleaded guilty
to conspiracy to make false statements to the First National Bank of Clarksdale.
Previously, on December 19, 1996, a jury convicted Ferrouillet and John J. Hemmingson,
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Crop Growers Corporation, of
obtaining a $20,000 check from Crop Growers Insurance by fraud, which was transported in
interstate commerce to Louisiana and used as an illegal campaign contribution to help
retire Henry Espy's campaign debt. The federal jury in New Orleans also convicted
Hemmingson and Ferrouillet of money laundering and engaging in illegal monetary
transactions. Additionally, Ferrouillet was convicted of making false statements to
The Independent Counsel's investigation is continuing.