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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

Monday, March 10, 2014

Former Executive Director Of Mississippi Department Of Marine Resources Pleads Guilty

Hattiesburg, Miss - William Walker, 68, of Ocean Springs, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to commit federal program fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen.

Walker admitted conspiring with his son, Scott Walker, to divert federal grant monies in a scheme that resulted in the federal grant monies being used to unlawfully purchase Scott Walker’s personal property in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

"Today's guilty plea holds accountable a former high ranking state official for his criminal acts of misappropriating federal grant funds" said U.S. Attorney Davis. "This guilty plea brings us one step closer to restoring the confidence of the citizens of south Mississippi in the Department of Marine Resources."
William Walker will be sentenced on June 5, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett in Hattiesburg. The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office. Criminal Division Chief John Dowdy, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Rushing and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Golden are prosecuting the case..

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at:

(866) 720-5721

You can also fax information to:

(225) 334-4707

or e-mail it to:

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Updated January 7, 2015