Former DA, son, convicted of fraud
Published 10:53 am Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Former District Attorney Walter Reed and his son, Steven Reed, were both convicted by a federal jury on Monday, according to information from the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite, Eastern District of Louisiana.
Polite announced that the jury found Walter Reed guilty on 18 of 19 counts. From 1984 to 2014, he served as the district attorney for the 22nd Judicial District, which includes Washington and St. Tammany parishes.
Reed was found guilty of:
- one count conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, with a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment;
- seven counts of wire fraud, with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment per count;
- one count of money laundering, with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment;
- four counts of false statement on income tax return, with a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment per count;
- and five counts of mail fraud, with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment per count.
Steven Reed was found guilty on three of four counts, including:
- one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering, with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment;
- one count of wire fraud, with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment;
- and one count of money laundering, with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
Polite said that evidence presented during the trial showed that the Reeds devised a scheme to defraud the Walter Reed campaign and contributors to the Walter Reed campaign by using donations 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 also showed that Walter Reed caused a series of payments to be made from the campaign fund to Steven Reed’s companies for fraudulent purposes.
As examples, Polite said that Walter Reed caused Steven Reed’s company, Globop, to be paid approximately $8,300 for producing a housewarming party at Walter Reed’s new condominium in April 2012 that was unrelated to Reed’s campaign, or the holding of public office. Similarly, Steven 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 in September 2012 that Steven Reed did not actually provide, Polite said.
Polite said that Walter Reed was also 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, among other misdeeds.
“We thank the jury for its careful deliberation in the Walter and Steven Reed trial,” Polite said. “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 Sept. 15.
To view the entire press release from Polite’s office, visit www.justice.gov/usao-edla/pr/federal-jury-convicts-former-district-attorney-walter-p-reed-18-counts.