Crime

S.H. Anthony owner's sentencing delayed at prosecution's request

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD/FILE 
 Contractor Sean Anthony, who has admitted that he conspired to bribe two Harrison County Utility Authority officials, arrives at the federal courthouse in Gulfport for an initial hearing on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Anthony's sentencing has been delayed at the request of federal prosecutors.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD/FILE Contractor Sean Anthony, who has admitted that he conspired to bribe two Harrison County Utility Authority officials, arrives at the federal courthouse in Gulfport for an initial hearing on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Anthony's sentencing has been delayed at the request of federal prosecutors. SUN HERALD

GULFPORT -- Sentencing has been delayed a second time for contractor Sean Anthony, who has admitted that he bribed two Harrison County Utility Authority officials in exchange for business.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth Morgan requested the delay. The motion she filed said the government needs more time for Anthony "to fulfill his obligations" under a plea agreement.

No further details were provided, but plea documents require him to cooperate with federal investigators.

A new sentencing date has not been announced.

Anthony pleaded guilty in March to one charge of conspiring to bribe former Utility Authority Director Kamran Pahlavan and former Harrison County Supervisor Kim Savant.

Pahlavan maintains his innocence. Charges against him were dismissed after his attorney filed a motion saying that Pahlavan was an FBI informant in the case and the information he provided could not be used to prosecute him. Federal prosecutors contend, in court records, that Pahlavan lied about vehicles he received from Anthony, negating any promise that "truthful statements" would not be used against him.

Pahlavan recorded conversations with Anthony for the FBI between June 2012 and Janaury 2013. Agents interviewed Pahlavan in October 2012. It was after the FBI first contacted Anthony about the public corruption investigation, in February 2013, that the U.S. Attorney's Office decided to prosecute Pahlavan, court records say.

Pahlavan was accused of accepting from Anthony two cars, New Orleans Saints tickets, hotel rooms, use of a condominium and other things of value in exchange for recommending Anthony's company for work.

The government alleged the conspiracy between the two started in 2006 and continued through November 2011.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden recently sentenced Savant, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to accept bribes, to the maximum of five years in prison. Savant received monthly payments of $1,500 from Anthony from January 2011 through January 2013.

U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett is presiding over Anthony's case. Anthony's business, S.H. Anthony Inc., had a $3.5 million operation and maintenance contract with the Utility Authority that was canceled in January 2013 after the Sun Herald reported he had helped Pahlavan acquire a car.

With Pahlavan's approval, S.H. Anthony also had done emergency work for the Utility Authority, according to prosecutors.

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