Keefe Group Corruption

The men associated with the Keefe Group have made the admonition that they paid bribes to officials within the state prison system in Florida. Keefe Group is a company based out of St. Louis that is a contractor for prisons around the nation. The first man to confess was Joseph Arthur Deese. He had an appearance in a federal courtroom in Jacksonville, Fl. He made a plea of guilty to the charges of conspiracy to pay bribes to the secretary of the state corrections department James Crosby. He also paid bribes to Allen Wayne Clark who was a high ranking man in the prison system. The other man to make a confession is Edward Lee Dugger, a 64-year-old. The two men will face sentencing together. He was the owner of an insurance franchise under the Allstate brand in Gainesville, Florida and a personal friend of Crosby.

Dugger was introduced to the Police Benevolent Association by Crosby. It is a union that represents prison guards. He sold insurance to employees of the prison. It was around this time that Keefe was enlisted as the contractor who would provide vending machines to the prison. This made an opportunity for the two men to meet. They became friends and began to collude with each other.

In 2004, the two men created a company to provide new services to visitors at Florida prison facilities. They offered a kickback to Crosby and Clark for accepting them as contractors in this capacity. The amounts paid to Crosby and Clark were up to $14,000 a month. Jack Donnelly, the former Keefe Commissary president was another beneficiary of the corrupt scheme. He was supposed to receive more than $250,000 yearly from the it. The Dispatch reveals the total annual profits the men expected to make together each year exceeded $1.5 million. Dugger and Deese did not know they were being recorded by authorities when they planned illegal activities together.

Federal prosecutors alerted the men that they had recorded evidence against them. This prompted them to confess their crimes. It took a very long time for the men to get caught and go to trial, but thankfully justice is finally being served to the masterminds behind this scheme.