Judge keeps prison lawsuit moving during FBI probe

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge says he won't put a lawsuit against a major private prison company on hold while the FBI investigates the company for fraud.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge made the ruling this week in a lawsuit brought by a group of Idaho inmates against Corrections Corporation of America. The inmates claim they were injured in a gang attack because of understaffing; the prison company has denied the allegations.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company contended that if its employees had to testify, they could be at risk of incriminating themselves in the FBI investigation. But the judge rejected that claim, saying at this point it's not even clear if the investigation will lead to charges.

The FBI is investigating whether the prison company violated federal laws by falsifying reports to the state about staffing levels at the prison.

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