Almost three years after being convicted in a kickback scheme, former Texas prison director James A. “Andy” Collins and businessman Yank Barry remain free, waiting to be sentenced, reports the Houston Chronicle. Barry, a Canadian, does much of his waiting at his Bahamas residence, free on $200,000 bail. Collins, free on $5,000 bail, is waiting at his home in Austin. He has taken many vacations, most recently to Seattle. “It’s very frustrating to me,” said Leonard Gurecky, who served on the federal jury that returned guilty verdicts on Aug. 20, 2001, on charges of conspiracy, bribery, and money laundering. U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes won’t comment; attorneys on both sides have solid explanations. Collins and Barry face a maximum of to 65 years each in prison and $1.75 million in fines.
Barry was president of VitaPro Inc., which sells a soy product used as a meat substitute. Prosecutors said he paid Collins at least $20,000 in 1995 to push a five-year, multimillion-dollar contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice months before Collins retired as executive director. Associate Dean Gerald Treece of the South Texas College of Law said most sentencing delays occur because the defense or prosecution has asked for them or the matter “has just fallen into the cracks.”