AG Carr Prosecutes Previous Chief Justice of the peace Choose in Pickens County for Public Corruption

Lawyer Typical Chris Carr yesterday declared that the office’s Prosecution Division has concluded its scenario versus Decide William “Allen” Wigington, previous Main Magistrate Choose in Pickens County. He was discovered responsible of 1 depend of Racketeering, 3 counts of Fourth Diploma Forgery, 5 counts of Theft by Using, 39 counts of Unauthorized Use of a Fiscal Transaction Card, and 1 Depend of Violation of Oath of Place of work. In complete, his crimes amounted to 44 felonies and 5 misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 15 a long time in prison. He will serve 5 in custody, followed by the remainder on probation.

“Mr. Wigington violated the public’s believe in in the worst way, and he will now provide time for his deceitful habits,” stated Legal professional Typical Chris Carr. “I commend the operate of our Prosecution Division, the Ga Bureau of Investigation and the Pickens County Sheriff’s Business office for uncovering the extreme lengths that Mr. Wigington went as a result of to defraud his local community. The theft of taxpayer cash will not go unpunished, and we will proceed to root out this sort of general public corruption in our state.”

An investigation into Judge Wigington’s crimes began when a community non-income business seen that Decide Wigington had paid his personalized credit card monthly bill utilizing the non-profit’s financial institution account. A joint investigation was introduced by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Pickens County Sheriff’s Business, and it was discovered that Choose Wigington had been utilizing his county issued credit card to buy hundreds of pounds of private goods from Amazon. It was also learned that he experienced been double billing the county for journey reimbursements. Finally, amongst his other thefts, Decide Wigington also stole 200 pounds that was selected to obtain a match for a youngster whose family members could not pay for to purchase it.

The Office of the Lawyer Common provides the next case notes:

Incident 1

Choose William “Allen” Wigington was appointed Main Justice of the peace Choose of Pickens County in Could of 2011. He resigned in February of 2020 related to these charges.

In March of 2019, Decide Allen Wigington was a member of a Masonic Lodge in Jasper, Georgia identified as the Blaine Lodge. He held the position of treasurer. At the March conference of the Lodge, the Lodge secretary discovered that there was a discrepancy in the Lodge lender account. There was meant to be $8,000 in the account, but the lender account equilibrium was only somewhere around $5,900. Assessment confirmed that Wigington experienced paid his personalized Chase credit score card monthly bill out of the Lodge account in the quantity of $2,118.37. The secretary straight away sent a text information to Wigington who advised that the account ought to have been hacked and that he would choose care of the make a difference the next day. Wigington contacted the secretary the future day and suggested that the financial institution refused to help Wigington, and the bank advised him that he would have to speak to Chase to solve the problem. As a observe up, Wigington told the secretary that Chase said that they could not right deposit the fraud reimbursement in the Lodge’s account. Thus, Wigington prepared to have Chase send the funds to the Courthouse, and Wigington would reimburse the Lodge via the courthouse.

Wigington thereafter wrote 3 checks from Pickens County Justice of the peace Court account to cover the Lodge’s reduction. The 3 checks totaled $2,188.37, which was additional than was drawn out of the Lodge’s account. The Lodge secretary instantly seen the discrepancy and realized that Wigington had lied to him. The secretary communicated the concern to an additional Lodge member.

That member confronted Wigington at the courthouse. Wigington instructed the member that he gained the reimbursement checks from Chase, but that his clerk unintentionally deposited them in the Magistrate Court’s account, and that he reimbursed it from the Magistrate Court’s account. Wigington showed the member copies of the alleged checks. Finally, Wigington adjusted his story expressing he designed an error. He claimed he applied the Lodge’s account to shell out his credit score card bill.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) followed up with Chase Financial institution in January of 2020. A subpoena to Chase uncovered that Wigington had cast the three Chase checks that Wigington confirmed the member to corroborate the lie that Chase had reimbursed him for the alleged hacked account.

Incident 2

On January 28, 2020, the GBI been given documentation that Wigington experienced bought many Apple tech items on his Pickens County Magistrate Courtroom Order Card (p-card) on November 19, 2018. A few of the purchases would afterwards be substantiated as get the job done-relevant, but there was not an clarification for an Apple Watch and AppleCare guidance.

As a outcome of these files, the GBI expanded its investigation into Wigington’s p-card utilization. The outcomes located the adhering to inappropriate expenses:

  • September 14, 2017 – Hampton Inn, Canton, Georgia
  • September 15, 2017 – New Orleans Hyatt Riverside
  • March 31, 2018 – Doubletree Resort in Atlanta
  • February 17, 2019 – Disney Lodge
  • September 23, 2019 – Jacksonville Resort on the way to just take a cruise

4 of these lodge expenses are associated to relatives vacations to Disney, cruises, and so forth.

Incident 3

The GBI and Pickens County Sheriff’s Office environment found that Wigington falsified files to deal with up his personalized charges. For example:

On July 18, 2019, Wigington documented a P-Card price of $366.99 as an HDMI converter box, HDMI swap, and laptop charging circumstance. Generally, these would be regarded as correct fees. Even so, when the Sheriff’s Workplace and GBI looked at the precise Amazon documentation, it was recognized that Wigington had ordered a Nintendo Change, Apple Airpods, and an Airpod charger.

This transpired numerous periods about several years with Wigington paying for every little thing from electronics to skin treatment.

Incident 4

Wigington was an affiliate of the Higher College Mock Demo system. Just one of the youngsters could not afford to pay for a fit for a competitors, so a local protection lawyer gave Wigington $200.00 to obtain a go well with for the pupil. Wigington pocketed the $200.00 and used his P-Card to invest in two satisfies from K&G: just one for the college student and a person for himself.

Incident 5

The Violation of Oath of Workplace is an all-encompassing cost for his misconduct.