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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sheriff Charge with Corruption: Bribes, Embezzlement, Etc.

Telfair County Sheriff Charged with Corruption
Fayette Front Page - December 31, 2008

Fayette, Georgia- Edmund A. Booth, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced December 22 the filing of a criminal Information against Jimmie W. Williamson, age 48, the Sheriff of Telfair County, Georgia. The Information charges Williamson with devising a scheme to deprive the citizens of Telfair County of his honest services as their Sheriff and using the United States mails in furtherance of that scheme, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 1346. Booth noted that the criminal Information charges that Williamson engaged in this scheme from approximately 2004 to the present through a variety of corrupt activities in his official capacity as Sheriff.

As specified in the criminal Information, those corrupt activities included:

• the embezzlement of fine and bond money paid by individuals arrested in Telfair County for his own personal use instead of properly sending such money to the Telfair County courts;

• the acceptance of bribes from individuals arrested in Telfair County in exchange for reducing or dismissing the pending charges against them and in exchange for granting those individuals special privileges while housed at the Telfair County Jail; and

• the improper purchase of items for his own personal use with funds belonging to and for the exclusive use of the Sheriff’s Department. Booth stated that if Williams is convicted, he faces a maximum statutory penalty of twenty (20) years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and a period of supervised release of three (3) years. An initial appearance and arraignment have not been scheduled at this time. The investigation was conducted by Special Agent Robert Jones of the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The government is being represented by Assistant United States Attorney R. Brian Tanner.

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