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Fraud, bribery trial begins for ex-Indianapolis official

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A federal trial is underway for a former Indianapolis city official accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks while overseeing a city program that sells vacant and tax-delinquent properties.

Opening arguments were held Wednesday in Indianapolis in the trial of Reggie Walton. He’s Indianapolis’ former assistant administrator of abandoned buildings and during his tenure he also oversaw the Indianapolis Land Bank.

Prosecutors say Walton enriched himself through that program by directing city-owned properties he had “cherry-picked” to private real estate developers in exchange for payments.

He’s being tried on wire fraud, bribery and other charges. He’s being tried along with alleged co-conspirator David Johnson, the executive director of the nonprofit Indiana Minority AIDS Coalition. Johnson faces wire fraud and other charges.

They were indicted in May 2013 along with three others.