Williamson County Man Pleads Guilty to hiding His Outside Payments from a Government Contractor

Shawn E. Whitecotton, 49, of Herrin, Illinois, pleaded guilty Thursday, to a two count felony charging him with making false statements on government forms. Whitecotton admitted concealing from the federal government thousands of dollars he received from a government contractor. Court documents Whitecotton was the factory manager of the UNICOR manufacturing facility operating within the federal penitentiary. In 2014, USP-Marion’s UNICOR facility contracted with a private company, PGB Hangers, LLC to manufacture wire clothing hangers. After the work began, Whitecotton convinced PGB to hire him as a salesperson. He created a new entity – “TRCB, LLC” – to engage in his side job and subsequently received more than $20,000 in payments from PGB. As a supervisory employee, Whitecotton was required to annually report his financial interests, any outside employment activities, and any positions held outside his role at the prison, but failed to do so.Whitecotton admitted that he knowingly and willfully failed to disclose his work for PGB and the payments he received as outside income. Whitecotton also admitted he instructed a witness to lie about Whitecotton’s involvement with TRCB and receipt of payments from PGB.Sentencing will be held at the federal courthouse in Benton, Illinois, on March 11, 2021, at 10:00am. Whitecotton faces up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.


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