Former Pickens County Sheriff to serve 18 months for food bank scam

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(Courtesy of Associated Press)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The former sheriff of Pickens County who pleaded guilty to scamming a local food bank to pocket money left over that was meant to feed inmates, will be spending over a year in jail.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney J.B. Ward, David Abston was sentenced to 18 months in prison during a court appearance in Birmingham Monday, as well as being ordered to pay $51,280.85 in restitution to the victims in the case.

On July 23, Abston pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. Abston, who served as sheriff for over three decades, was arrested back in June and charged with defrauding a food bank and church by claiming to use the money to buy food to feed his inmates. Instead, he kept the money for himself and wrote checks to purchase cut-rate food for the inmates.

“I think the outcome of the case shows that law enforcement officers who violate the public trust will be held accountable for their actions,” Ward said.

Abston could likely start serving his time at the beginning of 2020, Ward said.


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