Prison reporting date delayed for beef plant defendant

A federal judge says financial documents connected to the failure of a beef plant that cost Mississippi millions are under review with the help of a felon-turned-informant.

Authorities recently granted Sean Carothers, president of Carothers Construction Company, a third delay in his scheduled reporting date to begin serving his prison sentence so he can continue to help them pursue others in the case.

Carothers latest reprieve will allow him to remain free until December 3rd.

Carothers was to have reported to a Pensacola, Florida, federal prison this month.

U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Junior says authorities need Carothers cooperation to interpret and analyze financial documents that are materially involved in the case relating to other potential targets of the investigation.

Biggers signed the order delaying Carothers reporting date.

Carothers pleaded guilty to paying beef plant owner Richard Hall $173,000 and helping Hall conceal the payments. Carothers repaid Mississippi taxpayers $250,000 for his role in the plants failure.

Carothers was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Hall is serving eight years in prison on state charges of mail fraud and federal charges of money laundering related to the plant closure. Hall pleaded guilty to the charges in January 2006.

The Oakland plant closed in August 2004 three months after it opened because of faulty equipment and a lack of money to operate it. It left 400 people unemployed and cost taxpayers $55 million.