Bill Walker due in federal court Monday, expected to admit to fraud charge

Former Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Director Bill Walker is due in federal court Monday morning, at which time he is expected to plead guilty to one court of conspiracy to defraud the federal government.

Walker’s attorney, William Kirksey of Jackson, filed Walker’s notice of intent to plead with the U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg on Feb. 19.

Walker is expected to admit to U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett that he, his son and former DMR employee Tina Shumate committed fraud by using DMR funds to purchase property the Walkers owned or in which they had a financial interest.
The transactions were completed by transferring funds from DMR accounts to the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, which in turn purchased the property.

Walker, 68, was one of four people named in a five-count federal indictment handed down in November, along with his son, Scott Walker, and former DMR employees Tina Shumate and Joseph Ziegler.