Charges continue against former DA, son

Published 9:21 am Friday, October 16, 2015

A federal judge ruled Tuesday not to dismiss charges against former Washington Parish and St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed and his son Steven.

Last April, the federal government indicted the Reeds on 18 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, mail fraud and making false statements on income tax returns. Prosecutors accuse Walter Reed of using thousands of dollars of campaign contributions for personal use, including payments to companies owned by Steven Reed.

The Reeds have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Attorneys for the Reeds filed motions to toss out the charges, arguing that the state of Louisiana is authorized to monitor state political campaigns, and not the federal government.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon denied the motions for dismissal Tuesday. The trial is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2016.

Walter Reed’s attorney Richard Simmons filed his motion for dismissal on Wednesday, Sept. 30, seeking to have nine of the 18 counts tossed out.

“The alleged criminal acts of Walter Reed are properly policed and prosecuted in Louisiana state courts under Louisiana state law, not under the federal wire fraud and money laundering statutes,” Simmons wrote, in the motion.

Simmons argued that many of the alleged campaign finance abuses took place more than three years ago. He said the statute of limitations for campaign finance crimes under Louisiana state law is only three years, while the federal law statute of limitations is five years.

Fallon did not agree, stating in his denial that the criminal charges are “consistent with the conduct the federal fraud statute was intended to describe.”