DeSoto developers face federal charges

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – DeSoto County developer James “Jamie” Harris is free on bond after his federal indictment on allegations he schemed to defraud Citizens National Bank.
Harris, 52, of Hernando appeared in court Wednesday to face three counts that he and Charles F. “Chuck” Roberts III lied to the bank and others about their Cherry Hill Subdivision development.
The bank loaned $5 million to the men’s RH Holdings LLC to develop the subdivision.
Roberts is due in federal court today to plead guilty to an information, which is a federal charge that hasn’t come from a grand jury. It’s usually the result of cooperation with the government.
It wasn’t immediately known what Roberts will plead guilty to.
Harris’ five-page indictment accuses him and Roberts of obtaining funds from the loan with false invoices for work and lying that extra funds were needed because of unforeseen drainage problems.
The government claims that in one instance, the bank issued a check for $181,544 to pay for a box culvert, which it states was paid for by the City of Southaven.
If convicted on all counts, Harris faces up to 65 years in prison and $2.25 million in fines.
Wednesday, Harris entered a not guilty plea before Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander, who set his unsecured bond at $5,000.
He is represented by Oxford attorney David G. Hill.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com