HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Jurors were chosen Tuesday in the trial of a Mississippi sheriff’s deputy and his wife who face federal charges that they evaded taxes by hiding income from their restaurant and liquor store.
Eight men and six women were selected. The 12 jurors and two alternates will hear the case of Forrest County Chief Deputy Charles Bolton and his wife, Linda.
The Boltons are each charged with five counts each of filing false tax returns and tax evasion, stemming from tax returns they filed between 2010 and 2014, The Hattiesburg American reported (http://hatne.ws/2cTFVM3 ).
The Boltons own two Hattiesburg businesses, Sports 22 Restaurant and Hall Avenue Package Store. They are accused of trying to hide income by “cashing tens of thousands of dollars in checks purportedly issued in payment for liquor, wine and catering services to prevent those payments from being recorded on the business bank statements,” according to an indictment.
The couple, according to the indictment, also allegedly provided deceptive records and made false statements, telling their tax preparer that some payments for goods were loans.
Their trial began a day after another federal jury in Hattiesburg convicted a politically connected pastor, the Rev. Kenneth Fairley, of conspiracy and theft in a case involving money skimmed from a federal housing program. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Parker decided Tuesday that Fairley will be out on an unsecured $25,000 bond until the Dec. 19 sentencing. That means Fairley will pay nothing unless he violates the terms of his release.
During a detention hearing Tuesday, prosecutors said they don’t believe Fairley, 62, is a danger or a flight risk. The lifelong Hattiesburg resident was convicted Monday in a case involving money skimmed from a federal housing program.
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in April questioning prosecutions of Fairley and Charles Bolton. Thompson wrote that he was getting complaints that supporters of Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree have been singled out since the city’s contested 2013 election.
Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik replied to Thompson Aug. 19, saying allegations were being reviewed by the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of the Inspector General.
Information from: The Hattiesburg American, http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com