Former DMR exec ordered back to jail for failure to pay fines

Former DMR exec ordered back to jail for failure to pay fines

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Dr. Bill Walker was escorted out of court in handcuffs as officers led him back to jail on Wednesday afternoon.

Walkers’s lack of payment of fines and restitution has landed him behind bars once again as he awaits a sentencing hearing on October 1 at 2:30 p.m.

After the judge ruled that Walker was going back to jail, Weber asked that he be released pending sentencing. That motion was denied by the judge. Walker was led out of the courtroom without being able to say goodbye to his family.

The proceedings opened with a motion for a continuance by defense attorney Weber. That motion was quickly denied by Judge Keith Starrett. Prosecutors kept hammering away on the point that Walker did not try to reduce his somewhat lavish lifestyle.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wesley Webb told the judge that Walker was clearly in violation of his probation agreement. The Walkers' monthly income according to the financial records is $16,000, and monthly expenses rest at about $16,500. Some of the monthly expenses that Bill Walker has reported include $400 a month for maid service, about $200 a month for lawn care service, as well as almost $2000 on car payments, including the payment on a 2017 Mercedes.

Scott Walker testified that he handled most of the finances for his father and he took the blame for not providing financial information in a timely manner. Scott stated that he and his father were working to reduce expenses and meet the $5000 a month payment through actions that included selling the Mercedes and trying to refinance the house. Probation Officer Justin Crowe testified for an hour about telling Bill Walker that he needed to meet his obligations and give more financial information.

Also revealed in testimony were some health issues. Earlier this year, Bill Walker was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had his prostate removed. His wife, Sharon Walker, suffered a serious heart attack and spent more than three months in the hospital also earlier this year.

One bone of contention during the hearing was when Scott Walker insisted he sent an email to federal attorneys outlining Bill Walker’s expenses. They claimed they never received that email. When handing down his ruling, the judge told Bill Walker that even though his son Scott took responsibility for the mistakes, he was still to blame.

After an investigation into corrupt activity at the Department of Marine Resources in 2014, Walker plead guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge. The former DMR executive director spent three years in federal prison before being placed on supervised release in November 2017.

A district court judge ordered him to pay $572,000 in restitution in increments of $5,000 per month. He was also charged a $125,000 fine. Bill Walker still owes $597,000 in total.

Prosecutors maintain that Walker has failed to pay the full amount he owes.

The U.S. sentencing guidelines call from anywhere from 3 to 9 months for Walker’s offenses, however, the judge noted that he may be more lenient if Walker shows some compliance and proceeds make payments toward his remaining fines and restitution.

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