n Tommy Tacker and a disbarred Tennessee lawyer are accused of defrauding the government. BY JEFF CLARK AND PATSY BRUMFIELD Monroe Journal and Daily Journal ABERDEEN – A biodeisel refinery company with plans to locate in Aberdeen is doing business with a man indicted March 26 on federal fraud charges related to his own defunct biodiesel company in Nettleton. William “Tommy” Tacker II, 56, pleaded not guilty last week to accusations he and H. Max Speight of Martin, Tenn., defrauded the government of nearly $3 million through Nettleton-based Biodiesel of Mississippi Inc. Tacker is free on $5,000 bond. He pleaded not guilty through his lawyer in Aberdeen. Late last week, Mississippi Investment Petroleum Co. of Aberdeen said the first reactor for its biofuel plant was sent to a William Tacker for refurbishing in Okolona. No other identification of Tacker was used in the news release. Monday, Aberdeen Mayor Jim Ballard confirmed this William Tacker is the same as the indicted man. Speight, a 65-year-old disbarred attorney, is serving a prison term in Tennessee after pleading guilty in 2008 to stealing money from clients. News reports said the stolen money went to the Nettleton biodiesel project. He is expected to be arraigned today in Oxford U.S. District Court. The accusations The 10-count indictment accuses the men, from July 2003 through January 2006, of making false statements and overvaluing securities connected with their participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bioenergy Program, which paid commercial bioenergy producers to increase production from one fiscal year to the next. The program also paid producers for production that was not an increase from the previous fiscal year. According to the MIPCO news release, their biodiesel reactor was sent to Tacker “who has extensive experience with the construction and operation of Biodiesel facilities.” Ballard said he had recently met with MIPCO’s board and believes the Aberdeen project was expected to be completed soon. Biodiesel of Mississippi Inc.’s charter to operate was dissolved by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office in January 2007 after it failed to file mandatory annual reports. The company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2006. Its final accounting was granted April 1. Contact Patsy Brumfield at (662) 678-1579 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patsy Brumfield/Daily Journal