More indictments in Shelby Co. Clerk's Office investigation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

More indictments in Shelby Co. Clerk's Office investigation

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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - New indictments were announced Thursday in an ongoing investigation into bribery at the Shelby County Clerk's Office.

Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons said a grand jury returned indictments against three people associated with Fleet Equipment, LLC, a company that sells heavy duty trucks and trailers, and Fleet Leasing, a company that leases heavy duty trailers. 

In the first indictment, the Grand Jury charged W. Mark Welch, owner of Fleet Equipment, LLC and Fleet Leasing, with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery of a public servant and five counts of bribery of a public servant. 

One other person was named in the first indictment, but has not been taken into custody.  That person's name has not been released.

In the second indictment, the Grand Jury charged James L. Welch, an employee of Fleet Equipment, and W. Mark Welch with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery of a public servant and five counts of bribery of a public servant. 

The defendants were taken into custody Thursday morning and are being held in the Shelby County Jail on $10,000 bond.

The indictments allege employees of Fleet Equipment were directed to pay clerks "with the intent to influence the clerks" to use their "official capacity to process title and registration transactions for them faster and in a greater number than normally permitted by office policy."

"These are very serious charges," Gibbons said in a press release. "It is our contention that the defendants received favorable treatment as a direct result of payments made.  Such conduct cannot be tolerated."

The indictments say payments were made to clerk Lynn Marshall.  Marshall was indicted by the Grand Jury last April for one count of bribery of a public servant.  According to the one of the indictments, on one occasion Marshall was paid to "process 150 title transactions…"

Gibbons said criminal investigation into the Shelby County Clerk's Office remains open and the Grand Jury could return further indictments.

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