Tennessee Waltz bagman sentenced to 18 months in prison - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Tennessee Waltz bagman sentenced to 18 months in prison

A judge sentenced a key witness and admitted bagman in the Tennessee Waltz public corruption case in federal court Friday morning.

Barry Myers was sentenced to 18 months in prison and a $4,000 fine.

Myers was a key witness in the trial of former Tennessee State Senator Roscoe Dixon, who was described in court as a father figure to him.  Myers admitted to being a front man who handed over more than $20,000 to then Senators Dixon and Kathryn Bowers.

Myers' attorney, Leslie Ballin, said Judge Jon McCallatook his client's cooperation with prosecutors into consideration when sentencing him.

"This was complicated," Ballin said. "Barry acknowledged from the beginning the wrong he did.  He tried to make it right, but the judge said he should have his just desserts, and we understand that."

Myers was the first of 11 Tennessee Waltz defendants to admit guilt, pleading guilty to extortion conspiracy in 2005 shortly after the statewide corruption scandal became public.

Only one Tennessee Waltz defendant, a former Memphis school board member, is still awaiting trial. The others have been convicted at trial or entered guilty pleas.

Five former state lawmakers are among the convicted.

The Tennessee Waltz scandal, which led to changes in the state's public corruption laws, focused on an FBI front company, E-Cycle Management, that offered bribes to government officials for business favors.

Myers did not comment after his sentencing. He will find out where he will report to prison in about six weeks.


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