Feds focus on payments from Walter Reed to son on second day of trial

Published: Apr. 20, 2016 at 1:45 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:57 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Testimony on day two of Walter and Steven Reed's corruption trial focused largely on a $14,000, one minute long video Steven produced for his father.

The video, shown to the jurors on Tuesday, is an anti-drug PSA that former St. Tammany and Washington Parish District Attorney Walter Reed paid his son, Steven to produce. An expert on film production testified the video looked "very immature" without proper lighting and poor quality and should've only cost around $1,500.

"The logo looked to be hand drawn, definitely not acceptable in a professional capacity," Adam Villemarette said.

But Steven Reed's attorney says there's more than meets the eye.

"As you will see from the trial as all the facts come out, there was another video that was being planned and worked on and that's where the other $5,000 charge came from. When they did the invoice, they forgot to add it," Steven Reed's attorney, Glenn Burns said.

Testimony Tuesday also centered around a 2012 fundraiser Walter Reed held at the Castine Center in Mandeville. A Lee Zurik Investigation first found that the elder Reed paid his son nearly $30,000 for bar services.

Yet, one of the prosecution's witnesses, Ben Gersh, who used to work for a company that donated alcohol to special events, testified he provided more than enough spirits for that fundraiser.

And, the director of the Castine Center, Kathy Foley, says although everything about the event was documented in writing, she testified, "In our folder, there is no correspondence with any representative from Liquid Bread."

Liquid Bread is the name of Steven Reed's company.

In all, the prosecution called 14 witnesses Tuesday.

Despite the charges against him, conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements on his tax returns, Walter Reed left the federal courthouse, smiling.

"Another day in paradise," Reed said.

Also on the stand Tuesday, Sue-Dee Lazzerini, who performed a small voiceover for that one minute PSA for Walter Reed. While Steven Reed received $14,000 for putting it together, Lazzerini says she was never offered a dime.

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