UPDATE: A new week of witness testimony in Walker trial
5 p.m. update: Walker's defense called expert witness testimony from a certified public accountant, who testified that he didn't detect evidence to show Walker overbilled the school district for projects performed. Under cross examination from the prosecution, however, the CPA told the court he hadn't comparison priced the materials Walker claimed to have used on questioned projects or reviewed the altered documents submitted into evidence. The defense team notified the court it will only call one more witness before resting its argument. No further clarification was offered at that time as to who that witness would be. The trial will resume at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 13.
UPDATE 12-12-2012 3:45pm The prosecution has called its last witness, and Calvin Walker's defense team will call its first witness shortly before 4 p.m. today. BISD assistant to the superintendent Jessie Haynes is expected to be one of the first persons called to the stand for Walker.
The prosecution continued questioning witness Les Wardon, Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office financial analysis investigator, Monday, Dec. 12, as a new week of trial testimony began in the federal case against Calvin Walker of Walker's Electric Company. U.S. Attorney Bob Rawls for the Eastern District of Texas asserts Walker defrauded taxpayers by falsifying invoices and requests for payment submitted to the Beaumont Independent School District for payment.
Wardon was called to the stand Friday, Dec. 9, and the bulk of his testimony has centered on analyzing invoices submitted to and from BISD and comparing those statements to bank account records for Walker and payments made to companies that could have sold Walker materials for use on projects associated with the BISD invoices.
According to summaries offered by Wardon in evidence, Walker’s checking accounts and the invoices submitted by supply wholesalers show the defendant paid at least $2.3 million less than claimed to BISD for materials on projects Walker contracted for during the years 2008 through the end of December 2010.
“If it was a purchase of an item that ‘could have’ been used on a job, I gave him credit for that, too,” Wardon said in relation to the methodology used in calculating what items were used when summing up payments made by Walker for materials. “I gave him the benefit of every doubt.”
Additionally, Wardon said, over $3 million was placed into a JP Morgan bank account, with nearly $2 million directly deposited from checks drawn from BISD. Those monies, he showed, were then split into two separate annuity accounts, used to purchase a Mercedes Benz vehicle and used to purchase property on Pleasure Island.
Wardon will continue to answer questions from counsel when the trial resumes after lunch at 1:15 p.m.