Judge rejects Tacker appeal

ABERDEEN – Biofuels entrepreneur William T. “Tommy” Tacker III of Okolona must take his conviction appeals higher, if he expects a change in his federal custody.
Friday, Senior U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson overruled Taker’s motions for acquittal and for a new trial after his February conviction.
A jury in February decided Tacker was guilty of 10 counts of defrauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s biofuels subsidy program out of $2.8 million.
Recently, Davidson sentenced him to five years in prison and to repay the USDA.
He’s in federal custody while he awaits a prison designation by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
But Tacker has hired new appeals lawyers to take his case up the legal ladder, insisting he isn’t guilty – that his partner, now a disbarred Tennessee attorney, is the one who defrauded the agency and took the money.
That man, H. Max Speight, pleaded guilty to one count of the fraud just before he could have gone on trial with Tacker. He hasn’t been sentenced, and he was the government’s key witness against his former partner.
Tacker and Speight operated a Nettleton refinery that aimed to make biodiesel from soybean oil, but it went bankrupt in 2006.
Before his federal indictment, Speight spent time in a Tennessee prison for a guilty plea to stealing $1 million from clients.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal