Hot Springs man convicted of bank fraud

Posted: August 2, 2013 at 3:31 p.m.

Hot Springs businessman Stephen R. Walker was convicted Friday on one count of bank fraud, according to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge in the Western District of Arkansas.

Walker, 46, who owns Renaissance Development LLC, was sentenced to three years and four months imprisonment, five years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine.

In 2005, Walker received $423,305.50 from an Arvest Bank loan he said was used to build a shopping plaza in Broken Arrow, Okla, the release states. The terms of the loan specified the money only be used on the shopping plaza’s construction; however, no construction was completed on the shopping plaza.

An FBI investigation revealed that Walker falsified two construction invoices and two checks in the amount of which he withdrew, and then used the money to pay for a past debt to a contractor that he owed on a different construction project. Walker then paid himself the rest by converting the remaining money to a cashier’s check payable to his company. Walker pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud on Nov. 14.

On July 20, 2012, Walker was also sentenced to 18 months in jail for willful tax evasion. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren ruled that Walker's sentences run consecutively.