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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Nephew of civil rights icon is one of two Memphis men charged in bid-rigging scandal in Mississippi

The two are charged in connection to a scheme involving the former Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Education, Cerissa Renfroe Neal.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two Memphis men are at the center of a bribery and bid-rigging and money laundering scheme in Mississippi.

One of the Memphis men charged is Joseph Kyles, the nephew of civil rights icon, Samuel "Billy" Kyles.

Joseph Kyles’ charges include money laundering, bribery, and wire fraud. Lambert Martin, also from Memphis, faces the same charges.

The two are charged in connection to a scheme involving the former Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Education, Cerissa Renfroe Neal.

The indictment alleges Neal used her position with the MDOE to split contracts from one contract into smaller contracts, in order to avoid having to formally put out a competitive bid. The indictment alleges the conspirators coordinated their submissions to the DOE, as well as shared the resulting contract payments.

The indictment says Neal personally gained $42,000. It says Kyles, Martin, and another defendant, David Hunt, garnered $650,000 from the state of Mississippi.

Kyles and his co-defendants will be arraigned September 10th in federal court.

Read more HERE.

Jackson, Miss. - Cerissa Renfroe Neal, 45, of Madison County, David B. Hunt, 54, of Jackson, Tennessee, Joseph Kyles, 51, of Memphis, Tennessee, and Lambert Martin, 59, of Memphis, Tennessee, have been charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery.