A former N.C. environmental official was sentenced Wednesday to more than 3 years in prison for agreeing to take money in exchange for helping a proposed Beaufort County ethanol plant quickly gain a state air permit.
Boyce Allen Hudson, 67, a former senior government affairs employee for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, pleaded guilty in May to extortion and money laundering charges.
Hudson also was ordered to pay $50,000 – $15,000 of which to reimburse the FBI for money given to him as part of a sting operation involving an undercover agent.
“This type of corruption is invidious,” U.S. Attorney George Holding said after the sentencing. Hudson acknowledged reaching a deal with the chief executive of Agri-Ethanol Products LLC, which wanted to build a $220 million plant that would blend ethanol from crops.
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Hudson was to get nearly $200,000 in cash and consulting fees if he got the plant's air permit approved within 90 days. Hudson got it through in 29 days in December 2004, according to the government, but only received $20,000, with $15,000 of it coming from the undercover agent posing as an investor.
Hudson will remain free until reporting to prison, which he must do by Nov. 1. Hudson didn't make a statement in court and declined to comment after the hearing.