Salesman sentenced in beef plant debacle

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - A refrigeration salesman has been sentenced

to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a failed beef plant

that cost Mississippi taxpayers millions.

The Mississippi Beef Processors plant in Oakland closed in 2004

just three months after it opened. Mississippi was stuck with $55

million in state-backed loans.

James A. Draper, from Mount Juliet, Tenn., was convicted of

fraud and money laundering. He deposited a $187,725 check from the

Mississippi Development Authority to his personal account in 2002,

then wrote a check to beef plant for all but $20,000 of the amount.

He was sentenced Friday. Several people have been convicted of

charges related to the failed plant. Owner Richard N. Hall Jr. is

serving eight years in prison.


Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)