TACKER UPDATE: District judge says no to acquittal, new trial

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.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson overruled his motions for acquittal and for a new trial on his February conviction.

A jury 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, he was sentenced to 5 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 appeals lawyers he plans to use 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 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.

• More details in Saturday’s Daily Journal.

Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal