Contractor reimburses Miss. in beef plant case

Sean Carothers has reimbursed Mississippi taxpayers $250,000 for his role in the failed $55 million beef plant.

The money was restitution ordered by a federal judge, State Auditor Phil Bryant said Thursday.

Carothers, whose firm built the plant, begins serving a 21-month sentence in a Pensacola federal prison on Oct. 1, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

Prosecutors have said they have a plea agreement pending with another party linked to the beef plant and that party will be indicted if the offer is not taken. Federal and state officials would not identify the individual.

Prosecutors said Carothers admitted paying a $173,000 kickback to Richard Hall Jr., who ran the multimillion-dollar beef processing plant in Oakland.

Hall has been sentenced to eight years and has been ordered to pay $577,964 in restitution.

The plant that opened in August 2004 and closed three months later cost Mississippi taxpayers more than $55 million, including a state-backed loan, grants, consulting fees and upkeep. It cost 400 people their jobs.