A real estate investor in Kentucky was resentenced to 18 months in prison after his probation was revoked for retaliating against witnesses. Mackie E. Shelton pleaded guilty to bid rigging a farmland auction and received a sentence of three years of probation with 26 weekends in jail. However, while on probation, he retaliated against witnesses in the case, leading to his resentencing. In addition to prison time, he is required to pay a criminal fine of $171,000 and restitution of $79,000. This case serves as a warning that witness intimidation and retaliation will not be tolerated in the pursuit of justice.
Real Estate Investor Resentenced to Prison for Bid Rigging After Retaliating Against Witnesses
The case involving real estate investor Mackie E. Shelton has recently taken a new turn, as he has been resentenced to prison for bid rigging and for retaliating against witnesses. This article will provide an overview of the case, discuss the instances of witness retaliation, and delve into the consequences of Shelton’s actions.
On November 29, 2022, Mackie E. Shelton, along with a co-defendant, pleaded guilty to bid rigging a farmland auction, violating the Sherman Act. Shelton and his partner were real estate investors who demanded and accepted payoffs to manipulate the outcome of an auction for hundreds of acres of farmland and timber in Allen County, Kentucky. This criminal act caused a financial loss for the family selling the property.
Initial Conviction and Sentencing
Upon conviction, Shelton initially received a sentence of three years of probation with 26 consecutive weekends in jail. Additionally, he lost his professional auctioneer and real estate licenses.
Retaliation Against Witnesses
Provocation of Retaliation
While on probation, Shelton engaged in retaliatory actions against witnesses who had cooperated with law enforcement during the case. These actions were aimed at intimidating and coercing the witnesses to prevent them from providing truthful testimony.
Impact on Witnesses
The witnesses involved in the case were subjected to various forms of intimidation and harassment as a result of Shelton’s retaliation. These actions not only had a negative impact on the individuals involved but also undermined the integrity of the judicial system.
Consequences for the Investor
As a result of Shelton’s retaliation, his probation was revoked, leading to his resentencing. This demonstrates that retaliation against witnesses is taken seriously by the justice system and has severe consequences.
Revocation of Probation
Due to the retaliatory actions taken by Shelton, his probation was revoked, and he was ordered to serve a prison sentence in addition to the previous penalties he had received. This revocation further emphasizes the gravity of witness retaliation and its impact on the judicial process.
Resentencing and Terms
Length of Prison Sentence
Shelton has been resentenced to 18 months in prison for bid rigging and retaliating against witnesses. This revised sentence reflects the seriousness of his offenses and sends a message about the consequences of engaging in such actions.
Fines and Restitution
In addition to the prison sentence, Shelton has been ordered to pay a criminal fine of $171,000 and restitution of $79,000. These financial penalties serve as a form of accountability for the harm caused by Shelton’s bid rigging and retaliatory actions.
Following his prison term, Shelton will be subject to three years of supervised release. This means that he will have to adhere to certain requirements and restrictions as part of his reintegration into society.
Loss of Licenses
As a result of his initial conviction, Shelton lost his professional auctioneer and real estate licenses. These losses have had a significant impact on his ability to continue operating within the real estate industry and serve as a further consequence of his illegal activities.
Commitment to Investigating Antitrust Crimes
Importance of Protecting Witnesses
The case involving Mackie E. Shelton highlights the importance of protecting witnesses who cooperate with law enforcement in antitrust investigations. Witnesses play a crucial role in uncovering unlawful activities, and their safety and well-being should never be compromised.
Warning Against Intimidation and Retaliation
The resentencing of Shelton serves as a warning to others who may consider engaging in witness intimidation or retaliation. The justice system will not tolerate actions that undermine the truth-seeking process and hinder the prosecution of antitrust crimes.
Involvement of the FBI’s International Corruption Unit
The FBI’s International Corruption Unit was involved in the investigation of Shelton’s bid rigging case. The unit’s expertise in uncovering and prosecuting corruption has been instrumental in holding individuals accountable for their illegal actions.
Statement from Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri
Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI Miami Field Office emphasized the seriousness of retaliating against witnesses, stating that such actions strike at the very heart of the country’s judicial system. The FBI remains committed to aggressively investigating allegations of witness retaliation to uphold the principles of justice.
Prosecution and Assistance
Trial Attorneys from the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section
Trial Attorneys Jariel A. Rendell and Alison M. Friberg from the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section were responsible for prosecuting Shelton’s case. Their efforts contribute to the enforcement of antitrust laws and the prevention of bid rigging and other illegal activities.
Involvement of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky provided assistance in the prosecution of Shelton’s case. Collaborative efforts between federal agencies and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are crucial in ensuring the effective investigation and prosecution of antitrust crimes.
The resentencing of real estate investor Mackie E. Shelton for bid rigging and retaliating against witnesses highlights the serious consequences of engaging in such illegal activities. Shelton’s prison sentence, fines, and loss of licenses serve as a reminder that witness intimidation and retaliation will not be tolerated. This case demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, to investigating and prosecuting antitrust crimes, as well as the importance of safeguarding witnesses who cooperate with authorities. The prosecution and resentencing of Shelton send a clear message about the consequences of bid rigging and witness retaliation in the real estate industry and beyond.