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Ocean Springs business consultant released from federal prison after serving 1 year for public corruption convictions

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BILOXI, Mississippi — An Ocean Springs business consultant and mayoral candidate has been released from federal prison after serving one year and almost two months for public corruption convictions.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1RSINFP) Scott Walker and his wife, Trinity Ryals Walker, wore broad smiles in photos of themselves together posted Tuesday on their Facebook pages.

Walker's official release date is March 21, according to the Bureau of Prisons website. He was eligible for home detention as of Jan. 28, but a representative for the Bureau of Prisons could not provide any further information about the circumstances of his release.

In July 2014, U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett sentenced Walker to 18 months in prison after Walker, 36, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government and fraud.

The conspiracy plea came in a case that also involved his father, Bill Walker, former director of the state Department of Marine Resources. The two conspired to supply $210,000 in federal money from the DMR to the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, which then used the money to buy a waterfront lot Scott Walker owned.

Bill Walker is serving five years in prison after pleading guilty to the same charge. He is housed at a low-security prison in Texarkana, Texas, and is scheduled for release in November 2018, the prisons bureau website says.

In a separate case, Scott Walker and former D'Iberville City Manager Michael Janus each pleaded guilty to fraud. They admitted that while Janus served as city manager, he secured for Scott Walker an unearned finder's fee of $180,000. Half the money was deposited into the account of a business the two men owned. Janus has completed his 21-month sentence.

In October, Starrett rejected Walker's request to spend the rest of his sentence in home confinement or a halfway house, saying the Bureau of Prisons knew best where he should be housed. Starrett had allowed Walker to delay reporting to prison because of medical appointments and tests.


Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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