BY BRIAN HAMILTON
Pickens County Sheriff David Eugene Abston turned himself in last Friday morning, pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.
The nine-count indictment filed in the U.S. District Court charged Abston with nine charges, including seven counts of wire fraud and two counts of filing a false tax return.
“A sitting county sheriff is alleged to have defrauded a food bank and a church for his personal gain at the expense of the underprivileged that the food bank serves,” U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town said. “Our office will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute public officials who violate the public trust for their own personal gain.”
According to the indictment, as sheriff of Pickens County, Abston was responsible for the care and custody of prisoners housed in the Pickens County Jail. That responsibility included feeding inmates housed in the jail. In exchange, Abston was entitled to receive a specified food allowance per prisoner per day from the state of Alabama and other governmental entities.
Between 2014 and 2018, Abston received more than $400,000 in food allowance money from the state of Alabama and other governmental entities.
Pick up a copy of the Pickens County Herald this week to read more.
More details will be posted as they develop.