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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 2, 2016

Federal Jury Convicts Former District Attorney Walter P. Reed on 18 Counts

His Son, Steven P. Reed, Convicted on 3 Counts

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that a federal jury has convicted former District Attorney for the 22nd Judicial District, WALTER P. REED, age 69, and his son STEVEN P. REED, age 44, both of Covington.

The jury found WALTER P. REED guilty on 18 of 19 counts.  WALTER P. REED was found guilty of:

  • one count conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering,

           (Count 1) maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment;

  • seven counts of wire fraud,

    (Counts 2-8) maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment per count;

  • one count of money laundering,

    (Count 9) maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment;

  • four counts of false statement on income tax return,

    (Counts 11-14) maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment per count;

  • five counts of mail fraud,

    (Counts 15-19) maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment per count.

 

STEVEN P. REED was found guilty on 3 of 4 counts, including:

  • one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering,

            (Count 1) maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment;

  • one count of wire fraud,

            (Count 7) maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment;

  • one count of money laundering,

    (Count 9) maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment;

 

Evidence presented at trial showed that WALTER P. REED and STEVEN P. REED devised a scheme to defraud the Walter Reed Campaign and contributors to the Walter Reed Campaign by using donations to WALTER P. REED’s campaign to pay for goods and services unrelated to the campaign or to the holding of public office, and in amounts that grossly exceeded the value of the services provided. 

Additional evidence presented showed that WALTER P. REED caused a series of payments to be made from the Campaign Fund to STEVEN P. REED’s companies in order to pay down a loan on which WALTER P. REED was a cosigner for services that either were not provided or whose value was substantially less than the amount paid.  For example, WALTER P. REED caused STEVEN P. REED’s company, Globop, to be paid approximately $8,352.64 for producing a housewarming party at WALTER P. REED’s new condominium in April 2012 that was unrelated to WALTER P. REED’S campaign, or the holding of public office.  Similarly, STEVEN P. REED’s company, Liquid Bread LLC, received $29,400 from the Campaign Fund account for purportedly providing catering or bar services at a campaign event at the Castine Center in September 2012 that STEVEN P. REED did not actually provide.  WALTER P. REED also required one company that provided services at the September 2012 event to kickback a portion of his payment to STEVEN P. REED as a means to funnel campaign monies to him.

WALTER P. REED was also convicted of  paying for numerous other personal expenses unrelated to his campaign out of his Campaign Fund, including flowers with an accompanying message that stated, “[T]o my rodeo girl from a secret admirer from Camp J,” $1,885.36 for a Thanksgiving Day dinner for REED and approximately ten other members of his family and a $500 gift card for his future personal use, and $2,635.00 to a North shore steakhouse for a dinner he hosted for “Pentecostal Preachers” for the purpose of recruiting clients to refer him private civil legal work.  Subsequently, REED also sought, and received, a reimbursement for the $2,635.00 dinner from the law firm with which he was affiliated, which he did not then put back into his Campaign Fund.  In total, WALTER P. REED, spent over $120,000 from the Walter Reed Campaign Fund bank account on personal expenses in this manner, including to recruit potential clients for his private legal practice, to pay off various expenses incurred by his son, STEVEN P. REED, and to pay for private and personal dinners.

Additionally, WALTER P. REED was convicted of diverting money paid by St. Tammany Parish Hospital for work performed by the Office of the District Attorney to his personal bank account.  Specifically, between about 1994 and 2014, St. Tammany Parish Hospital retained the services of the Office of the District Attorney to advise it on various matters, for which it agreed to pay between $25,000 and $30,000 per year.  REED attended some of the monthly meetings, though on dozens of occasions he directed Assistant District Attorneys to attend.  Notwithstanding REED’s use of resources and personnel of his office, REED deposited into his own personal bank account each check provided by St. Tammany Parish Hospital that were intended for the Office of the District Attorney.

“We thank the jury for its careful deliberation in the Walter and Steven Reed trial,”  stated U.S. Attorney Polite.  “The defendants’ actions were not innocent 'mistakes,' as Walter Reed claimed in his testimony.  They were crimes.  As a community, we are tired of hearing, and accepting, excuses from public officials who violate the public trust to enrich themselves.  The time for excuses is over.”

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon set sentencing for September 15, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation for investigating this matter and thanked the Metropolitan Crime Commission for its assistance.  The prosecution of this case was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Ginsberg, Marquest Meeks, Brian Klebba and Maria Carboni.


 

Topic: 
Public Corruption
Updated May 3, 2016