By Melanie Posey
MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC)- Eleven co defendants were named in a federal corruption case on Monday morning, but a 12th defendant, Jennifer Pouncy, had already accepted a plea deal in the case.
According to the plea agreement Jennifer Pouncy accepted, she was hired by the lobbying firm, Mantra Governmental in 2006 by its founder, Jarrod Massey. U.S. prosecutors say it was not until four years later, that Pouncy became a co-conspirator in a vote buying scheme that promised state lawmakers campaign contributions, campaign appearances by music celebrities, political polls and more in exchange for their support of electronic bingo.
Her first alleged actions came in March 2010 when Pouncy met with Talladega Senator Jim Prueitt "and offered him $2,000,000" if he voted in favor of "senate bill 380". The agreement says Pouncy did so "under the direction of...and was supervised by" her boss, Massey and Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley. Gilley and Massey are accused of being in on the bribery scheme along with Victoryland owner Milton McGregor.
Pouncy's second act is said to have come that same month when she met with Gadsden Senator Larry Means. That's when Means reportedly asked for a 100-thousand dollar campaign contribution from Gilley and Massey. Pouncy relayed the message and Means was guaranteed support. Pouncy would later admit to authorities she "understood (Means) was being bribed so that he would support senate bill 380".
Prosecutors say Pouncy also admitted to a conversation with Montgomery senator Quinton Ross, Jr. in which Ross "demanded approximately $5,000 to $10,000" in campaign contributions from Gilley and Massey. Ross had sponsored pro-gambling legislation in the previous year and told Pouncy he was "no longer feeling the love" Prosecutors say his requests were eventually met.
On Thursday, just days after Pouncy accepted the agreement, the Department of Justice unsealed indictments against the 12 defendants. "McGregor and Gilley authorized their lobbyists and other co-conspirators to give the legislators whatever they wanted as long as it secured their vote," said Lanny Breuer, an assistant attorney general with the DOJ.
Pouncy's plea agreement was unsealed Monday morning. The charge she faces carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. She is still awaiting a sentencing date.
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