Walker takes plea deal
With his second trial slated to start next week, Beaumont electrician Calvin Gary Walker pleaded guilty Tuesday, July 17, to failure to pay federal income taxes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
Walker was under indictment on 37 counts of fraud and other charges alleging he over-billed taxpayers by submitting falsified invoices to the Beaumont Independent School District for electrical work. He was tried in December 2011 but jurors were deadlocked, failing to reach a verdict, and U.S. Judge Ron Clark declared a mistrial in the case. Clark reset the case for July.
With the plea, Walker accepts a misdemeanor charge, faces up to a $25,000 fine and up to a year in federal prison. But according to his attorney, Dick Deguerin, Walker won’t spend any time in prison. Walker also agreed to forfeit $3.2 million in 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.
According to information released from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Walker admitted in a signed factual basis submitted to the court that he was aware of the additional business income as it resulted from the submission of invoices to the BISD. Records from the BISD reflect that on Aug. 29, 2009, Walker submitted an invoice for labor, materials, and rental equipment in the amount of $1,592,839.10 for the electrical wiring of two temporary campuses. On Sep. 9, 2009, the Beaumont ISD issued a check in the amount of $1,592,839.10 in payment of the invoice. Records from BISD contained copies of bills for materials from third-party electrical wholesale companies along with copies of un-negotiated checks drawn on Walker’s bank account in the same amounts, payable to said wholesalers. Walker further admitted that included in the wholesale invoices was an invoice in the amount of $382,975.32 that had been altered to reflect it was an invoice when in fact the document was a quote and not an actual purchase. Walker’s check payable to that wholesaler in the amount of $382,975.32 was never presented to the wholesaler or negotiated. Records from BISD also contained similar altered documents purportedly from the same electrical supplier matching invoices submitted by Walker for materials in other projects.
In June 2003, Walker pleaded “no contest” to insurance fraud charges and was given deferred adjudication, served four years on probation and paid a $1,000 fine to avoid a final conviction. According to the indictment, Walker defrauded Progressive Insurance by falsely filing a claim that he was injured in an accident.