Accused Beaumont Electrician Calvin Walker has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Walker, 51, whose first trial ended in a mistrial, is accused of fraud in his dealings with the Beaumont Independent School district. Jury selection for his second trial was set to begin July 23.
According to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Walker on Tuesday pleaded guilty to, "....Information charging him with failure to pay federal income taxes."
An Internal Revenue Service investigation stemming from the original FBI investigation of overbilling and submission of altered documents to the Beaumont Independent School District revealed Walker failed to report as income on his 2009 tax return a check from BISD in the amount of $1,592,839.10 for the payment of materials, labor and equipment rental charges.
A federal grand jury on May 4, 2011 returned a 37-count indictment charging walker with federal violations. Walker was charged with 3 counts of mail fraud, 6 counts of wire fraud, 5 counts of interstate transfer of funds by fraud, 18 counts of fraud in connection with organizations which receive federal funds, and 5 counts of money laundering involving transactions greater than $10,000.
The indictment alleges that from 2008 to 2010, on at least 13 different electrical projects, Walker submitted 16 invoices containing inflated amounts of the costs of materials used in the projects totaling over $3 million.
The indictment alleges Walker misrepresented the material costs and 10% mark-up by over $1.5 million on work performed at the temporary campuses of Regina Howell and South Park.
The indictment also alleges Walker billed BISD for bucket truck rentals of over $600 thousand when his company already owned the trucks and did not have rental costs.
Walker faces up to one year in federal prison. As part of the plea, Walker has agreed to forfeit $3.2 million of the annuities from which the tax liability and any fine will be paid. BISD may also request restitution from the remaining forfeited funds. Upon sentencing, any remaining charges will be dismissed. A sentencing date has not been set.
BISD Issues statement
The Beaumont Independent School District, after learning of Tuesday's agreement, issued the following statement:
Please be advised that BISD has learned today that the government has reached an agreement resulting in the dropping of all existing potential criminal charges against Calvin Walker.
Mr. Walker will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to timely pay taxes on a part of his income.
No further charges will be filed and he will receive no jail time.
This plea was announced in open court. The district was not involved in the resolution of this matter but is pleased that it will be resolved.
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