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Appeals panel upholds Tacker's biofuel scam conviction

NETTLETON — A federal appeals panel upheld the conviction of a Mississippi businessman for his role in defrauding a biofuels subsidy program.

A three judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued the ruling yesterday.

William T. “Tommy” Tacker II was convicted in 2010 on 10 counts that he conspired to defraud the U.S. Department of Agriculture of nearly $3 million for his company, Biodiesel of Mississippi Inc. of Nettleton. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Tacker, in his appeal, cited inadequate jury instructions, double hearsay testimony and insufficient evidence to convict him. The 5th Circuit panel said the evidence for sufficient to convict Tacker.

Also convicted was disbarred Tennessee attorney H. Max Speight, who pleaded guilty and is serving a 26-month sentence.

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