GUILTY: Walter Reed convicted on 18 of 19 counts against him

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A jury on Monday found former North Shore D.A. Walter Reed guilty of 18 of the 19 counts against him. His son, Steven, was found guilty of three of the four counts he faced.

The jury deliberated for 4.5 hours. They headed to the jury room about 1:15 p.m. for lunch then started their deliberations. But they had a lot to go over.

Reed was accused of spending campaign money on personal items like flowers, expensive dinners and funneling payments to companies run by his son, Steven.

Reed was also accused of defrauding his own office by keeping the money that St. Tammany Hospital paid him for legal representation and not reporting that income on his tax returns.

"Walter and Steven Reed used the Walter Reed campaign fund as their personal ATM," prosecutors said during closing arguments.

The prosecution then asked the jury, "What do you do if you're committing fraud? You find ways to funnel money to Steven Reed."

But the defense argued that the campaign expenditures in question were appropriate, related to Reed holding public office and were spent in accordance with the law. He also argued that the money from St. Tammany Hospital was reported.

Defense attorney Rick Simmons made reference to the government's actions.

"No one has worked so hard to make so much out of so little," Simmons said.

Walter Reed was charged with conspiracy, money laundering, mail and wire fraud as well as filing false statements on his tax returns. Steven Reed faced charges of conspiracy, money laundering and wire fraud. Both pleaded not guilty.

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