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Hood wants documents on failed beef plant

JACKSON — Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has asked a federal court to turn over grand jury records from the U.S. government’s investigation into the now-defunct beef plant as he prepares for a civil lawsuit.

The beef plant opened in Oakland in August 2004 but lasted less than three months. In January 2005, the operator defaulted on a $21-million loan to Community Bank and the project went into foreclosure.

In June 2005, the state paid the bank on its guaranteed $34 million.

Hood tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal he’s suing the company and the executives on behalf of the Mississippi Land Water Resources Board and the Mississippi Development Authority.

The civil case is set for trial beginning Dec. 5 in Hinds County.

Defendants are Facility Construction Management Group Inc. and he company’s principals, Robert L. Moultrie, Nixon E. Cawood and Charles K Morehead, all of whom pleaded guilty to criminal charges in 2010.

The lawsuit claims the Facility Group defendants committed “improper and/or criminal” acts related to the construction of the beef plant in Yalobusha County, as well as in procuring contracts to perform services for the beef plant project.

The state complaint was filed Jan. 17, 2007, and amended June 2, 2010. The federal indictment came Feb. 13, 2008.

All three executives served prison time for their guilty pleas.

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