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Kemper fraud trial delayed again

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Jan. 17, 2001
KEMPER COUNTY The trial of Millennium Homes employee John Bowen has been delayed a second time. The trial, originally set for November, had been rescheduled to begin today.
The new trial date is May 1.
Bowen was indicted by a Kemper County grand jury last July for false representation to defraud the government. His arrest came after a routine audit of county records by State Auditor Phil Bryant's office.
At the time of the indictment, county officials believed they had been wrongly charged by Millennium Homes employees for concrete work. The business is located on Highway 45 just south of Scooba.
Evidence presented to the grand jury included an invoice for a $20,000 advance payment to Millennium Homes for a $34,157 job.
Bowen's defense attorney, William Ready Jr., said he believes the situation resulted from confusion in county records.
Ready said he met with officials at Bryant's office once to go through information and find out what questions they had. He is now trying to get a second meeting scheduled so he can answer those questions. Since that first meeting, he said the state auditor's office has sent him "another batch of documents."
He said the case may not go to trial if he can resolve the matter through Bryant's office.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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