Federal officials have charged an elected official in the Augusta city government with a two-count indictment charging him with destroying records in a federal investigation and lying to federal investigators researching the case.
That elected official, Sammie Lee Sias, 66, serves as District 4 commissioner on the Augusta Commission. Officials have charged Sias with destruction, alteration, falsification of records in federal investigations, and false statement or representation made to a department or agency of the United States.
This, according to a press release that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia published this week.
“The indictment alleges that on or about Aug. 5, 2019, Sias ‘did knowingly alter, destroy, mutilate, conceal, and coverup records, documents and other objects, to wit, digital files belonging to Sandridge Community Association (SCA), which included invoices, spreadsheets, work orders, payments, agendas, minutes, financial reports and other documentation of Jamestown Community Center (Jamestown), Jamestown Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), SCA Board of Directors, SCA Summer Camp, with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation and proper administration of a federal criminal grand jury investigation,’” the press release said.
“Subsequently, Count Two alleges that on or about Aug. 9, 2019, Sias ‘did willfully and knowingly make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, an agency of the United States,’ when Sias told an FBI special agent that he had provided all electronic and paper files in his possession related to the investigation.”
Court officials have not yet scheduled an arraignment, the press release said.
The charges carry a maximum statutory penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison, along with substantial financial penalties and up to five years of supervised release following completion of any prison term, according to the press release.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building” by Augusta-Richmond County.