September 1, 2022

Rankin County Woman Found Guilty of Conspiring to Falsify Business and Income Records

Morgan Howard

A Pearl woman was found guilty by a federal jury on Wednesday, August 24, of conspiring to falsify business and income records with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.

According to court documents, in December of 2017, a woman named Esther Bennett and co-defendant, Kristy Dier, were intercepted on communications discussing ways to legitimize drug proceeds seized by law enforcement from Kristy Dier.

Bennett constructed a false ledger, claiming the seized money was from hair care services that were never provided.  After Bennett prepared the ledger, she provided it to Dier, who in turn filed the ledger, along with a Petition to Contest Forfeiture, with the Hinds County Clerk’s office in an attempt to recover the funds.

Bennett will be sentenced on November 29.  She faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.  A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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