Federal judge orders prison time for Fairley

Federal judge orders prison time for Fairley
Rev. Kenneth Fairley and Artie Fletcher were sentenced in federal court Monday. Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hub City pastor Kenneth Fairley and Artie Fletcher were sentenced in federal court Monday.

Fairley's sentencing 

Federal Judge Keith Starrett sentenced Fairley to three years in prison.

Fairley will self report to a federal prison designated by the courts within 72 hours to 60 days.

He will also pay a $30,000 fine and $60,223.95 in restitution.

Fairley was set to appear in court at 9:30 a.m., but the sentencing did not begin until 10:15 a.m., due to the court running behind.

Over 100 people were in attendance for his sentencing. Fairley's attorney, Arnold Spencer, made arguments and objections to each paragraph of the pre-sentencing report.

Judge Starrett continued to overrule all the objections brought forth by Spencer on Fairley's behalf.

Those in attendance on behalf of Fairley include Councilwoman Deborah Delgado, Mayor Johnny DuPree, and Eddie Holloway.

Fletcher's sentencing 

Fletcher was the first to be sentenced before Judge Keith Starrett around 8:30 a.m. Fletcher was given three years probation and will pay restitution of $69,223.95 to HUD, which he said will be paid by weeks end.

"In response of this case, I understand the importance of reporting a crime," Fletcher said during his sentencing.

Starrett said, "It appears to me your involvement in this matter was more of a desire to help instead of defrauding the government."

Fletcher will meet with probation officers Monday and then is free to go, but he will have to meet probation guidelines for three years.


Fairley was indicted on March 10, and was found guilty Sept. 12 by a jury of his peers on charges of conspiracy to commit theft of government money, and two counts of receiving, retaining, concealing or converting money that belonged to the government.

Those charges relate to defrauding the government agency of Housing and Urban Development through rehabbing houses in Hattiesburg.

Fletcher, 56, a New Orleans businessman, who is a co-defendant of Hub City Pastor Kenneth Fairley, was indicted in March on charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and engaging in monetary transactions to criminally derive property.

He pleaded guilty on Sept. 2 to one count of misprision of a felony.

Charles and Linda Bolton's sentencing has been pushed back and will not start at 1:30 p.m. as originally planned.

The Boltons were indicted March 23, 2016 each on 10 counts of tax evasion and filing false tax returns.

Charles Bolton was convicted on four counts of tax evasion, not guilty on one count of tax evasion and guilty on all five counts related to filing a false tax return.

Linda Bolton was convicted on five counts of filing a false tax return and not guilty on one count of tax evasion, with a "no verdict" being reached on the remaining four.