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Former Prosecutor and Director of Tennessee DOC Sentenced to Prison

by Monte McCoin

On March 30, 2018, D. Michael Dunavant, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced that Quenton Irwin White, who previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee during the Clinton administration and also as head of the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) between 2003 and 2005, had been sentenced to prison for stealing from clients he represented as a private attorney between 2013 and 2016.

“Mr. White used his privilege to practice law and a position of fiduciary trust to commit crimes of fraud and dishonesty that victimized vulnerable black farmers and their families for his own selfish personal gain,” Dunavant stated.

White pleaded guilty to keeping settlement funds intended for the estates of three black farmers who had won a class-action lawsuit for racial discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The district court ordered him to pay $141,000 in restitution to the victims and serve two years of supervised release after serving one year and a day in federal prison.

White was disbarred by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2016 due to the scandal; he had previously been the subject of controversy when he resigned as commissioner of the TDOC in 2005 amid allegations of sexual harassment. His wife, Candyce Jones, was sentenced to a three-year prison term in 2011 for her role as the owner of defunct healthcare company Merrilee LLC in an unrelated fraud scheme. 



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