A building contractor pleaded guilty Monday to participating in a kickback scheme involving the South Delta Regional Housing Authority, which promotes affordable housing for the poor in the impoverished Mississippi Delta. Court records show Jimmy Johnson pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Oxford to aiding and abetting embezzlement. Johnson and housing agency director Ann Jefferson were indicted in 2011. Jefferson is scheduled for trial Jan. 30. Prosecutors allege Jefferson paid Johnson for work on a house in Leland that the agency already paid for and that the work had already been done. Johnson is accused of paying a kickback to Jefferson after cashing the check at Turner's Pawn Shop in Indianola.
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