Local News

Ex-DENR official pleads guilty to extortion

Posted May 27, 2008

— A former state official pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday in a permitting-for-pay scheme.

Boyce Hudson, 67, who retired from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 2005, pleaded guilty to extortion and money laundering. His sentencing was scheduled for July 28, when he faces up to 30 years in prison.

Federal investigators said Hudson agreed to expedite state environmental permits for Agri-Ethanol Products LLC, which planned to build an ethanol production plant in Beaufort County, in exchange for $100,000 and a two-year contract as a consultant that was worth another $100,000.

Agri-Ethanol received the required permits within 30 days, and Hudson, who served as a liaison between DENR and the General Assembly, received $15,000 in the scheme, investigators said.

Authorities were tipped to the scheme by a potential Agri-Ethanol investor, who said a sales representative bragged that the company had bribed a state official. An FBI agent then posed as a company investor to build the case against Hudson.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle was so dumbfounded by the allegation that Agri-Ethanol boasted of bribery that he asked during the court hearing whether the company included that information in its prospectus to investors.

The ethanol plant was never built because of a lack of funding.

The case remains under investigation, and Hudson agreed to cooperate with FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents in their corruption probe.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Doctor Dataclerk May 27, 2008

    I will guarantee that he is drawing state retirement and will continue to do so because this happened before they passed recent laws to cut off retirement if state officials are convicted of felonies. Am I correct elcid?

  • WHEEL May 27, 2008

    DENR announced immediately after the charge that he did not have the authority to expidite the permits yet the Ethanol firm got theirs in 30 days. Who is lying now or who else is involved.

  • Timbo May 27, 2008

    State government corrupt? I don't believe it.

  • colliedave May 27, 2008

    What a fool: he will spend the rest of his natural life in jail for the search of the filthy lucre. The question is: how many more in government are like this individual?

  • mramorak May 27, 2008

    I would love to know what he got away with before he retired.