Former Poplarville coach going to prison

Kwame Smith
Kwame Smith

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The former head basketball coach for the Poplarville Hornets is heading to prison. Kwame Smith is one of 14 defendants accused by the Attorney General's Office of defrauding the state and School Employees Health Insurance Program of more than half a million dollars.

The 30-year-old pleaded guilty Monday in Circuit Court to four counts each of Conspiracy, Insurance Fraud, Mail Fraud, and False Representation to Defraud the Government.

Smith will serve 10 years in prison and five years probation. He'll also pay more than $75,000 in penalties and restitution for his part in the crime.

The AG's Office said it was part of a scheme where Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi employees would process claims of state employees for medical procedures that never happened. In return, the state employees would kick back some of that money to the insurance workers.

Smith is one of seven defendants who entered guilty pleas Monday in front of Rankin County Circuit Judge John Emfinger.

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