On July 27, 2011, the USDOJ announced that a former special agent with the USEPA Criminal Investigation Division in Dallas, Texas, was charged in a two count indictment with lying under oath and obstructing justice. The indictment was returned in the Western District of Louisiana. Keith Phillips, of Kent, Texas, was charged with obstruction of justice and perjury stemming from his sworn testimony in a civil case currently pending in the Western District of Louisiana.
According to the indictment, from September 1996 to December 14, 1999, Phillips and a female FBI agent participated in a criminal investigation that led to the indictment of, among others, Hubert Vidrine Jr. The criminal charges against Vidrine were ultimately dismissed. Vidrine then filed a civil lawsuit against the United States for malicious prosecution. In a deposition in the civil case, Phillips allegedly testified that he did not have an affair with the female FBI agent, when, in fact, he had. Phillips then apparently hen contacted the female FBI agent in an attempt to influence her not to disclose the existence of the affair.
The indictment alleges that Phillips committed perjury when he testified falsely about the affair and committed obstruction of justice when he attempted to influence the female FBI agent.
Phillips faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.00 on the perjury count and a maximum of ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00 on the obstruction of justice count.
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