Ex-city contractor to change plea in bank fraud case

SOUTHAVEN — A former Southaven city contractor accused of bank fraud is set for a plea change hearing next month.

The Commercial Appeal reports 53-year-old James Malcolm Harris Jr., of Hernando, pleaded not guilty to two counts of loan and credit application fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States when he was indicted on the federal charges in January.

Harris, through his former development company, RH Holdings, is accused of submitting fake documents and making false statements to Citizens National Bank to get money from a $5 million loan. The loan was for a Southaven subdivision that his development company never built.

Harris ‘ former business partner in RH Holdings, DeSoto County developer Chuck Roberts, pleaded guilty to bank fraud in the matter earlier this year. Last month, Roberts was sentenced to 10 days in prison.

A trial date was set for Harris on Sept. 9 but the matter is now scheduled for a plea change hearing on Sept. 10. Harris is expected to plead to count one of the three-count indictment, according to court documents.

On that charge, the indictment said Harris submitted four fake invoices to the bank claiming that his company, M&H Construction, needed money from the bank loan to construct box culverts at the subdivision when Southaven had already paid his company $181,544, to build culverts.

The hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. in federal court in Aberdeen

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