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Worker spent money meant for children

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The former nutrition specialist for a not-for-profit organization doling out millions of federal dollars for children's food programs in Augusta and surrounding counties pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he stole about $200,000 to buy cars and furniture.

Bernard Walker, 44, admitted to taking checks worth tens of thousands of dollars -- money that was supposed to buy meals for low-income children in Head Start programs -- while working for the CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority.

As part of his plea deal, Walker pleaded guilty to two counts of a 14-count indictment that included allegations he purchased several cars, including a BMW 528i and Jaguar S-Type, from Top Quality Auto in Waynesboro from April 2008 to March 2009. The charges are money-laundering and theft or embezzlement from a program receiving federal funding.

"He would purchase the cars and whatever was left over from the check balance he would receive in cash," said FBI Special Agent Jason Gustin, who testified in the hearing.

This was also done with several items of furniture he purchased from Goldberg's Furniture in Waynesboro, Ga., Gustin said. "Again, just like with the cars, the value of the checks always exceeded the value of the furniture." Walker was also accused of laundering the money through his church in Waynesboro, where he, along with two others, were responsible for the church's bank account.

When asked by U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. if he thought they were looking at charging others in the case, Gustin replied that it's possible.

"We are still deciding how far to go on that," he said.

Walker's charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

He also was ordered to turn over the Jaguar and BMW to federal authorities. He will be sentenced later.

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bclicious
640
Points
bclicious 01/06/11 - 05:44 am
0
0
Man, this guy sucks! I hope

Man, this guy sucks! I hope they seize all of his assets and liquidate them to pay back for his evil doings!

rmwhitley
5538
Points
rmwhitley 01/06/11 - 07:02 am
0
0
Wow, our government oversight
Unpublished

Wow, our government oversight at work. What are the odds of that? Slim to none and I heard Slim left town.

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 01/06/11 - 07:47 am
0
0
I thought Nancy Pelosi and
Unpublished

I thought Nancy Pelosi and the previous congress had "drained the swamp."

onlysane1left
216
Points
onlysane1left 01/06/11 - 08:32 am
0
0
Oh, no, if you listen to most

Oh, no, if you listen to most of the people on here, its the "entitlement" crowd and the "illegals", that are "draining the swamp." A few iphones and bluetooths compared to fancy furntiure, a Jaguar, and a BWM, who is really milking the system, people?

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 01/06/11 - 09:18 am
0
0
It seems that people want to

It seems that people want to hide berhind religion to camouflage their shady dealings. He must have had some good friends at these businesses, because I do not know of a business that takes third party checks. Especially when the checks exceed the amount of purchase. Sounds like a little "kickback" activity must have been going on.

lessthanperfect
10
Points
lessthanperfect 01/06/11 - 09:36 am
0
0
tuffenuf4u - I agree wth your

tuffenuf4u - I agree wth your thoughts on check accounting, but what is the hidding bit? What you hidding behind?

airbud7
1
Points
airbud7 01/06/11 - 09:43 am
0
0
onlysane1left/What's the

onlysane1left/What's the entitlement crowd doing with iphones?That's like the Welfare Cadillac joke!!!

ceeteejay
0
Points
ceeteejay 01/06/11 - 09:52 am
0
0
I'm so tired of people taking

I'm so tired of people taking from our kids. the lady from Glenn Hills got a light sentence and the lady from Freedom Park Elem is probably gonna pay back the 24,000 and get probation. It's like it's okay to borrow the money and just pay it back later at least that's what they think. Richmond County need to start making examples of these thieves who think it's alright to take money and do whatever they want too with it and just pay it back later! Jail time and paying thr money back along with a healthy fine and don't reduce the charges down to misdermeanors Keep them as felonies that'll show them. they'll think twice about messing with money that don't belong to them!

chascush
0
Points
chascush 01/06/11 - 10:07 am
0
0
Is he any kin too Charles

Is he any kin too Charles Walker?

genbartow
0
Points
genbartow 01/06/11 - 10:16 am
0
0
retired army, don't you think

retired army, don't you think when a scheme is so simple and so much money is so easily diverted and it goes on for at least a year undetected; that it is happening to a great extent throughout the "great and loving big sister" government of ours?

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 01/06/11 - 11:25 am
0
0
lessthanperfect, Would you

lessthanperfect, Would you believe I had to go to summer school to take a required course because I failed Typing. There must be some mental block because all these years later, and even taking a software typing course, I still can't type with speed and accuracy. But I do try to proof read every thing before I hiit the "save comment" button.(Misspelling intended to show that I am not perfect)

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 01/06/11 - 12:33 pm
0
0
It doesn't matter what

It doesn't matter what financial controls are put in place by a company or government agency, someone will figure out how to get around them. I know, as I had the responsibility for controls in a large company for 30 years. The good news is that crooks get caught as their greed makes them take more and more until what they are doing becomes obvious.

follower
59
Points
follower 01/06/11 - 12:51 pm
0
0
Can we assume that "Top

Can we assume that "Top Quality Auto" and "Goldberg's" are guilty of abetting Mr. Walker's crime?

We don't take third party checks at our business unless I know the individual is purchasing something for the buyer. How could the merchant in this case take a check from a government entity without raising an eyebrow? They seem to be just as guilty, especially if there was a cash difference given to the accussed.

I hope the DA doesn't let this go.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 01/06/11 - 12:55 pm
0
0
Wow, the evil that resides in

Wow, the evil that resides in some people is unbelievable.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 01/06/11 - 01:36 pm
0
0
As far as any of the many

As far as any of the many crooks caught red handed and/or still under investigation for stealing local tax money we are not aware of ONE CASE where the money has been paid back. NOT 1:o(

onlysane1left
216
Points
onlysane1left 01/06/11 - 01:55 pm
0
0
"onlysane1left/What's the

"onlysane1left/What's the entitlement crowd doing with iphones?That's like the Welfare Cadillac joke!!!"
Personally, I dont know what an "entitlement crowd" is or what they are doing with iPhones, but to hear the posters on here, it seems like everyone in that group has one like they are giving them away at the DFAC offices, along with free checks.

maninthepi
0
Points
maninthepi 01/06/11 - 02:11 pm
0
0
WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS

WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS WITH ALL THIS ELECTRONIC
STUFF AVAILABLE TODAY IT TAKES SO LONG TO CATCH THESE
PEOPLE? ALSO WHY ARE THE SENTENCING A LOT LONGER?

libertarianvoter
0
Points
libertarianvoter 01/06/11 - 02:14 pm
0
0
Wow, what a horrible guy.

Wow, what a horrible guy.

dani
12
Points
dani 01/06/11 - 02:25 pm
0
0
Those committing the "white

Those committing the "white collar" crimes don't get the punishment deserved, which is absolutely not fair. Theft is theft, and you know what it is said that you should do to a thief.

justus4
99
Points
justus4 01/06/11 - 02:30 pm
0
0
After attempting to stomach
Unpublished

After attempting to stomach the comments, there appears to be an effort to downplay this guy's criminal behavior and his obvious sense of entitlement. Why would any informed citizen NOT recognize the harm this guy has caused to the children? Easy...this guy couldn't possibly be a minority citizen and thus, he will NOT get 30 yrs or spend much time locked up. The people who abedded him will NOT also be charged because they too will get a pass. And the ole {We}" ...are looking at charging others in the case" is code language for nothing will happen is a classic. Yep, this is just another sad attempt at "justice" where white-collar criminals make a mockery of punishment, while people of color like the Scott sisters in Mississippi are given LIFE for an $11.00 so-called "crime." This guy (Walker) deserves life for stealing from poor children, but will get 10 yrs and be out in five. No others will be prosecuted and its all being determined by ethnicity. Great country, eh?

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 01/06/11 - 04:17 pm
0
0
I was wondering the same

I was wondering the same thing chascush. Only wondering because stranger things have happened. Like departmental heads marrying the supervisor of the department and keeping it a secret because there is a clear policy against it.

iletuknow
8
Points
iletuknow 01/06/11 - 05:22 pm
0
0
Just the tip of the iceberg

Just the tip of the iceberg concerning not-for-profit organizations.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 01/06/11 - 05:22 pm
0
0
IS he any kin to charles

IS he any kin to charles Walker?

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 01/06/11 - 05:27 pm
0
0
I'd like to ask Agent Gustin

I'd like to ask Agent Gustin what he meant when answering the judge about making any charges against others that may be involved. "We are still deciding how far to go on that" just doesn't get it as far as I can see. Go as far as you can! Get everyone involved and charge them with something if they have done anything crooked.

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 01/06/11 - 05:42 pm
0
0
Was there no oversight at the

Was there no oversight at the agency that got the checks? An accountant or bookkeeper or anything? Didn't anyone notice that that amount of money was not being spent on the clients?

Equaltreatmentforall
49
Points
Equaltreatmentforall 01/06/11 - 08:29 pm
0
0
Where's his picture? Let's

Where's his picture? Let's see what someone who would do this looks like!

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 01/06/11 - 08:33 pm
0
0
If I were these business

If I were these business owners I would start getting nervous. Just exactly who were the checks made out to? There was a lot more going on than is being told!

Suzy Q
1
Points
Suzy Q 01/07/11 - 12:33 am
0
0
What a disgusting piece of

What a disgusting piece of garbage. Taking food out of the mouths of hungry kids for some fancy wheels and a little bling?

I don't understand the AC not plastering this guy's photo all over the paper. We need to be able to identify the scum among us whenever possible.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 01/07/11 - 09:00 am
0
0
I have been all over the web

I have been all over the web looking for this guy,,,I suppose the sheriffs office would have a mug shot?

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