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Ex-judge in Georgia sentenced to 5 years for stealing money

May 27, 2021 GMT

JASPER, Ga. (AP) — A former magistrate judge in north Georgia has been sentenced to five years in prison for stealing county and state money.

Senior Superior Court Judge Tami Colston on Thursday sentenced William “Allen” Wigington to five years in prison. State Attorney General Chris Carr said Wigington went to “extreme lengths” to defraud taxpayers.

Wigington was chief magistrate judge in Pickens County until he resigned last year.

He pleaded guilty in April to 44 felony counts and five misdemeanor counts. Those charges said Wigington misused a government credit card, falsified documents to cover up the thefts, and stole county money to repay money belonging to a masonic lodge that Wigington had used to pay his own credit card bill.

Carr said an investigation found Wigington was ordering thousands of dollars of personal items from Amazon, including a Nintendo Switch gaming system, Apple earbuds, and an Apple watch.

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The investigation also found Wigington paid for personal hotel stays, sandals, skin care products and toys. In one instance he pocketed $200 that a lawyer had given him to buy a suit for a student in a mock trial program and then used his state credit card to buy a suit for the student and one for himself. In other instances, he paid for work-related travel with county money and then pocketed state money that was supposed to be used to reimburse the county.

Wigington was also sentenced to 10 years of probation.

Wigington’s wife had also been indicted, but Carr spokesperson Katie Byrd said those charges were dismissed.