2 ex-judges, lawyer back to prison in Miss scheme

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Two ex-judges and an attorney from Mississippi must return to federal prison for their convictions in a loan scheme.

A federal appeals court had vacated their bribery convictions but upheld the guilty verdicts on corruption charges. So they needed to be resentenced.

U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate denied requests by Paul Minor and former Harrison County judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield to be re-sentenced to time they have already served.

Wingate on Monday sentenced Minor to eight years, Teel to four and Whitfield about six — all less than previous.

Prosecutors said Minor would guarantee loans for the judges, then used cash and third parties to pay off the debts. Judges then ruled in his favor in civil cases. He has long said he is innocent and was making loans to help friends.

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