Mississippi Businessman Jeffrey Lynn Walker Arrested in Tennessee
|FBI Jackson November 02, 2010|
Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Mississippi, and James C. Lee, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation (IRS-CID), New Orleans Field Office, stated that JEFFREY LYNN WALKER, age 47, was arrested on November 2, 2010, by FBI agents in Nashville, Tennessee, pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on October 21, 2010. WALKER was indicted on October 20, 2010, by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Mississippi. The indictment alleges 12 counts of wire fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering.
The indictment is the result of a joint investigation by the Jackson Field Office of the FBI and the IRS-CID. According to the indictment, WALKER, a former NFL football player, has been involved in a scheme to defraud investors located in Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, and Arizona out of millions of dollars.
WALKER, who previously resided in Madison County, Mississippi, allegedly devised a scheme to defraud and obtain money from investors by making false and fraudulent representations relating to a resort project in China being developed by his companies, Charter Resources International and Sterling Group Holdings, Inc. To further the scheme, the indictment alleges that WALKER sold shares in Charter Resources International and executed joint venture agreements between companies, in which he held a controlling interest, and investors to share in profits to be generated from the sale of estate homes, town homes and patio homes in the China resort. The indictment states that WALKER caused investors to make interstate bank wire transfers and, as part of the scheme, WALKER then deposited investor funds into Sterling Group Holdings, Inc.'s bank account and converted portions of those funds to his own personal use and benefit, purchasing four-wheelers, a luxury conversion van, and a Hummer H-2 vehicle. WALKER is also accused of making false declarations to the Internal Revenue Service, through which he failed to report all of his taxable income for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006.
WALKER will make his initial appearance in the United States District Court of the Middle District of Tennessee. It is expected that extradition proceedings will commence and that WALKER will be returned to Mississippi to face these charges against him. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jerry Rushing and Carla J. Clark.
The public is reminded that an indictment and warrant for arrest contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial, at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.