HATTIESBURG — A Hattiesburg businessman has pleaded guilty to a kickback scheme, which defrauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Prosecutors say 82-year-old T.L. Pittman Jr. entered the plea in federal court in Hattiesburg to a bill of information that charged him with one count of theft of government funds. He will be sentenced Aug. 18.
Prosecutors say Pittman, through his company, Century Management Inc., hired a contractor to work for one of his USDA-financed apartment complexes. Pittman agreed to pay the contractor a certain dollar amount per hour, but Pittman required the contractor to kickback a portion of the money.
The kickbacks continued from 2011 to 2013.
The fraud charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release.