UPDATE: Speight set to plead guilty in biodiesel fraud case

By Patsy Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

ABERDEEN – Disbarred Tennessee attorney H. Max Speight is scheduled to plead guilty next week in a federal biofuels fraud case, U.S. District Court records posted this morning show.

Speight will appear before Judge Glen H. Davidson at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Aberdeen in an apparent deal with prosecutors to avoid up to 100 years in prison and millions in fines, if he were convicted on all charges stated in the 2009 indictment.

That leaves William T. “Tommy” Tacker II of Aberdeen the sole defendant in the case alleging fraudulent reporting to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for biodiesel fuel at a now-shuttered Nettleton facility.

Speight and Tacker were partners in the operation, which went bankrupt in 2006.

Tacker pleaded not guilty and is set for trial in Aberdeen on Feb. 22. He insists he was just the operations man on site and that Speight was the money man responsible for the reports.

Thursday, Davidson denied Tacker’s requests for a trial separate from Speight and for a trial site outside the region on claims of too much publicity by the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

Read Saturday’s Daily Journal for more details.