Local News

Ethanol firm officials indicted on bribery charges

Posted October 7, 2008 3:58 p.m. EDT
Updated October 8, 2008 12:43 a.m. EDT

— Two owners of an ethanol production company, including a former mayor of Wake Forest, have been indicted on bribery and other federal charges.

Jim Perry, 62, who served as mayor in Wake Forest from 1978 to 1982, and David Brady, 75, a former commercial real estate developer, were charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds, aiding and abetting extortion and aiding and abetting bribery. Perry also was charged with two counts of perjury, and Brady was charged with three counts of perjury and one count of making a false statement to a federal agent.

A federal grand jury returned the indictment last Wednesday, and it was unsealed Tuesday as both men surrendered to authorities. Perry was released on a $25,000 bond, and Brady was released on a $50,000 bond.

The pair formed Agri-Ethanol Products LLC in 2004 and planned to build an ethanol production plant in Beaufort County. Federal authorities allege that they tried to bribe an official with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources to expedite the necessary state environmental permits, which would allow them to attract more investors to the venture.

Boyce Hudson, 67, who retired from DENR in 2005, pleaded guilty in May to extortion and money laundering in the case and will serve a 40-month sentence at the federal prison camp in Butner.

Investigators said Hudson agreed to help speed the permits 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 received $5,000 in the scheme, investigators said.

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