‘Black widow’ who hired hit man to kill husband faces fraud charges

Emma Raine
Emma Raine

A woman sentenced to life in prison for her second husband’s murder has agreed to accept a plea deal in a federal case involving bankruptcy fraud, tax fraud and an insurance policy she hiked up months before his killing.

Emma Raine, portrayed as “a black widow” by prosecutors at a trial in New Orleans, has notified federal court officials in Gulfport of her plan to accept a plea deal in the fraud case.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden signed an order for Raine, formerly of Poplarville and Jackson County, to be brought to Gulfport for a change-of-plea hearing in the fraud case on Nov. 2.

The Gulfport case alleges Raine, a tax preparer, filed false income tax returns for clients in Poplarville and Gulfport, failed to report all of her income, and continued to prepare tax returns under a different business name after her electronic filing number was revoked in 2011.

Records in U.S. Bankruptcy Court obtained by the Sun Herald show an insurance company later questioned a death benefit of $834,088.74 in her husband’s death because of a dispute over who was to receive the money.

Raine, 52, was facing trial in Gulfport on a 35-count indictment filed Oct. 7, 2014.

Raine received a life prison term Friday on a second-degree murder conviction in New Orleans for hiring a hit man, Terry Everette, to fatally shoot her second husband, Ernest Smith, in 2006. Everette is now serving a life sentence for Smith’s murder.

Her third husband, James Raine, was shot to death at their Poplarville home in 2011. No arrests have been made, but she also reportedly collected life insurance on her third husband after his unsolved killing.

Everette is James Raine’s adopted brother.

Her first husband, Leroy Evans, died of mysterious circumstances after he was struck by a car in Vicksburg and was paralyzed. Evans died in 1994 while choking after his feeding tube was somehow removed.

Federal charges filed in Gulfport also allege that Emma Raine increased Ernest Smith’s life insurance policy from $100,000 to $800,000 two months before he was killed and added James Raine as a beneficiary. She also had her daughter pretend to be Smith’s daughter and forge the other daughter’s signature on the paperwork, according to the daughter’s conviction on a forgery charge.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews