Scott Walker, son of the former Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (M.D.M.R.) Director, Bill Walker, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today. Although Scott Walker entered a guilty plea today, he seemed upbeat as he headed to the courtroom, greeting members of the waiting media with a ‘good morning.’ Full details of the plea deal have not yet been released, but Walker's attorney says he hopes his client can avoid prison time. Scott Walker says, "It’s a tough day." Walker had few words as he headed to court this morning, where he struck a plea deal, pleading guilty to charges of federal program fraud and conspiracy to commit federal program fraud. John Dowdy, Chief of Criminal Division, says, "Well obviously this brings to conclusion a significant case of fraud that was committed against the City of D'Iberville." Walker was surrounded by family members, including his father, Bill Walker, as he walked into the U.S. District Court this morning, where he admitted creating and submitting a false invoice in the amount of $180,000 to the City of D'Iberville for payment of consulting services that were never performed. He also admitted to conspiring with his father in a scheme that resulted in federal grant money being used to unlawfully purchase his property in Ocean Springs.
Sentencing has not yet been set, and Walker remains tight lipped about it. When asked why he changed his initial plea of not guilty to guilty, Walker said he was thinking about his family. Walker says, "It was the only choice. It was the right choice for our family and anything else, I want Arthur to comment." Walker was released on bond, and he appeared to remain positive despite his admission of guilt. Walker tells News 25 that he is focused on his pregnant wife who is expected to soon give birth. Walker also says, "Our second son is coming tomorrow, so there are good things." Walker will be in court again for a sentencing hearing on May 6th. He faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines on the combined charges. His father, Bill Walker, is expected to plead guilty to charges in connection with the M.D.M.R. case in his next court appearance on March 10th.