Court records: Plea planned for Keene man charged with accepting funds from inmate

William S. Tidwell charged Monday in U.S. District Court

A Keene resident plans to plead guilty to a charge accusing him of accepting around $90,000 from an inmate while working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, court records show.

William S. Tidwell, 49, was charged Monday in U.S. District Court in Boston with one count of receipt of payments by a public official in violation of official duties, one count of false statements to a bank and one count of identity theft, according to court records. All three of these federal charges are felonies.

A plea agreement signed by Tidwell on July 21 and filed Monday shows he intends to plead guilty to all charges. In exchange for his plea, the attorneys will recommend Tidwell receive no more than two years in custody with three years of supervised release, according to the plea agreement. The document states that if the agreement is accepted by the judge, he will also have to pay a fine “at the low end of the Guidelines sentencing range,” restitution and comply with forfeiture terms.

According to the charging document submitted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kunal Pasricha and Mark Grady, Tidwell was employed as a correctional counselor at the Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayer, Mass., when he accepted money from an inmate in exchange for preferential treatment.

The charging document states that the inmate, an “ultra-high net worth individual,” arranged for a “close friend and business associate” to pay $25,000 in November 2018 to a close family member of Tidwell’s, who then transferred the funds to Tidwell’s account. He is also accused of receiving more than $47,000 in “management fees” through a verbal agreement with the inmate in 2019, and living at a property purchased by the inmate’s friend, Pasricha and Grady wrote.

He also received a $50,000 loan in 2020 from the inmate’s friend to purchase a new home but told the bank it was a gift from his employer, and forged the person’s identification and signature to provide proof to the bank, the document states.

A forfeiture allegation was released with the three charges, which compels Tidwell to forfeit any property connected with the charges if he is found guilty. He will appear in court at a later date, according to a news release the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts issued Monday.

Tidwell was not reachable for comment Tuesday, and his lawyer, Brad Bailey, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

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Categories: Law