Former Pickens County School Superintendent Carlton Wilson and his wife Cindy Wilson pleaded guilty to racketeering and theft charges; Carlton Wilson also pleaded guilty to six additional theft charges, according to Attorney General Chris Carr, whose office prosecuted the case.
“Carlton and Cindy Wilson stole thousands of dollars from hardworking Georgians, and now they are facing the consequences of their illegal actions,” Carr said in a press release. “This is a complex case that spans several years and involves multiple acts of theft, including the unlawful collection of taxpayer funds. This conviction is a major victory for all those who fell victim to the couple’s fraudulent and deceptive tactics, and we are proud to have worked with our local partners to put a stop to their criminal schemes.”
Carlton Wilson has worked as a teacher, magistrate judge, school principal, and victim advocacy director in the District Attorney’s office. He and his wife are also two of four partners in a private company.
According to Carr’s release, Carlton Wilson sold land that was donated to the Boy Scouts and spending $26,420 of the proceeds on personal expenses during four months in 2021. He also took paid sick leave in 2021 and 2022 from the District Attorney’s office, drawing sick leave hours from a bank of sick leave hours donated by county employees. At the same time, he worked at a private business; he unlawfully took over $6,000 of donated leave from Pickens County.
Both Wilsons also embezzled funds from their private company, writing checks to themselves worth $79,069.24. They also redirected $24,398.24 in revenue to a personal account, and took $42,800 cash from the company.
Deputy Attorney General John Fowler prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
“Our detectives and prosecutors with the Attorney General’s Office worked hundreds of hours analyzing financial records and interviewing dozens of witnesses in an effort to bring this case to a close and provide restitution to our victims of this racketeering enterprise,” Pickens County Sheriff Donnie Craig said. “I would like to thank Attorney General Chris Carr and his staff for their continued partnership with the Pickens Sheriff’s Office and our community.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network.