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Film tax credit promoter sentenced to 70 months
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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Longtime film tax credit promoter Gregory M. Walker has been sentenced in Baton Rouge to nearly six years in federal prison for a $1.83 million wire fraud against 24 victims.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1pdRGbW ) U.S. District Judge James J. Brady on Thursday imposed the prison term of 70 months, ordered Walker to serve an additional three years under post-prison supervision by federal investigators and directed him to repay the $1.83 million.
The judge told Walker he hoped he would make positive changes in his life during and after his confinement.
“You took money from your friends,” Brady said. “You stole from them, and you continue to steal.”
Added the judge: “You had Maseratis. You had Porsches. You had a fine home. You were living on the stolen gains from your friends and the other victims.”
“I wish I could go back in time, but I can’t,” Walker said. “Unfortunately, my kids are going to pay for this.”
Walker and his ex-wife have four sons. Walker, who previously operated Gulf States Health Services in Baton Rouge and was an owner in failed Gulf States Long Term Acute Care of Covington, was living near them in the Austin, Texas, area before he was charged with wire fraud related to selling film tax credits.
Walker pleaded guilty last year to one count of wire fraud and admitted that he sold at least $1.4 million in state film tax credits he did not own.
Walker’s attorneys, John C. Anderson and David L. Vaughn, told Brady in court and in pre-sentence filings that their client has paid $1.1 million toward his restitution.
U.S. Attorney Walt Green said after sentencing that Walker also must pay $978,418 the judge ordered him to forfeit last year.
That means Walker owes about $1.7 million on crimes Assistant U.S. Attorney Rene I. Salomon said actually netted Walker nearly $2.6 million.
Walker also admitted he signed another man’s name to documents related to his tax credit sales. Some of the emails Walker used in the fraud were sent from addresses of his now-closed Baton Rouge-based Gulf States Health Services.
The state suffered no loss, but tax credit buyers lost some or all of their money because the valid credits belonged to other people.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com
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