According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office in Mobile, a federal grand jury has indicted Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer Sr. on charges of conspiracy and theft of government money. Stringer is 67-years-old and a resident of Deer Park, Alabama.
United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown of the Southern District of Alabama announced the indictment which alleges "Stringer conspired with others to fraudulently obtain Social Security benefits for one of his employees. According to the charges, Stringer arranged to have the wages of one of his employees be paid to the employee's wife instead of to the employee, thereby reducing the income reported to the Social Security Administration in his name, allowing the employee to obtain and retain benefits to which he was not entitled.
"Stringer was charged with conspiracy and aiding and abetting the theft of government money. Conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Theft of government money carries up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Sean P. Costello is handling the prosecution on behalf of the United States.
"An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until and unless he or she is proven guilty at trial."