Former Pickens School Superintendent Charged With Felony Thefts

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Former Pickens School Superintendent Charged With Felony Thefts



4/21/2022

On Tuesday, April 19, 2022, Dr. Carlton Keith Wilson was served warrants from the Pickens Sheriff's Office for Theft by Deception (1) and Theft by Taking (6). Dr. Wilson served as Pickens County School Superintendent from May 2017 until resigning with a settlement agreement on December 19, 2019. Prior to this, Dr. Wilson was a presiding Judge of the Pickens County Magistrate Court, as well as a Principal in the district.

Dr. Wilson reported to the Pickens County Jail at noon on April 21, 2022 and was released shortly thereafter on a $5,000 bond. Below are excerpts from the warrants with a link to them in entirety as a PDF.

2022SWR3 - Theft by Deception

In May 2020, Carlton Wilson was hired by the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office as the Victim Witness Coordinator and began to receive an annual salary of $42,500.00. This was mainly an administrative position within the office.

On September 16, 2021, the Pickens County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a Shared Leave Policy. This set out guidelines whereby employees of the Pickens County Government can donate their unused leave hours into a pool called the Shared Leave Bank. The policy set out guidelines establishing how employees can donate leave to this pool and if approved, could apply to receive donated leave.

The leave hours in this pool would be converted to dollars and used to provide employees with a payroll check while they are out of work. The number of hours an employee can have converted is 480 hours.

On or about September 28, 2021, Carlton Wilson sustained injuries in an automobile accident. Following his accident, and after he expended his accrued leave balance, he applied to receive donated leave hours through this program and provided a notification from a doctor indicating he could not return to work until January 3, 2022. He was approved to be compensated at his normal rate of pay.

As his injuries healed, Carlton Wilson began to go to the Appalachian Gun Range, which is a business he owns with George Weaver Jr. At this business and before his injury, Wilson was the primary firearms instructor and held regular classes utilizing the firing range. During this investigation, the bank records of Appalachian Gun Range Inc. were examined. It was determined that proceeds from the gun safety courses taught there are essential to the success of the company.

On January 7, 2022, at 1 :06 pm Carlton Wilson emailed the Human Resources Department and the District Attorney's Office indicating that his doctor would not release him to come back to work until April 4, 2022, and that he had blood clots in his lungs and leg.

On January 19, 2022, Wilson was notified that on January 28, 2022, he would reach the maximum hours from the Shared Leave Bank.

On April 11, 2022, a search warrant was executed at Appalachian Range. Records of individuals who took various gun safety courses between October 5, 2021, and January 25, 2022, were seized and indicate between those dates approximately 138 individuals took gun safety courses at the range. Carlton Wilson who was present during the search stated he taught most of those courses. Several individuals were interviewed who took these gun safety courses during the pay periods Carlton Wilson was being paid through the Shared Leave Bank but had informed the County and District Attorney's Office he was unable to work. Each stated that Wilson was the primary instructor. In fact, one week after Wilson reported to the county HR director that he could not return to work because of blood clots in his leg and lungs (Jan 7) it was confirmed through a gun safety course student that Wilson was the instructor during a course on January 14, 2022.

On the following dates, Carlton Wilson received payroll checks which were supported by the Shared Leave Bank.

December 3, 2021 - $1179.53
December 17,2021 -$1342.68
December 30, 2021 -$1261.11
January 14, 2022 -$1276.29
January 28, 2022 -$1280.82
Total- $6340.54

During this investigation, it was learned that Carlton and Cynthia Wilson have a joint bank account at Bank of America. An examination of the account activity determined that among the transactions were normal household expenditures, (food, utilities, insurance, etc). However, the payroll checks for Carlton Wilson paid from the Shared Leave Program were directly deposited into an account in his name only at South State Bank in Canton, Ga. An examination of the account activity in this account determined that it was being used almost solely for online gambling activities or to pay gambling debts.

Based on the facts stated herein it is believed that Carlton Wilson recognized his presence as a gun safety instructor at Appalachian Gun Range, a corporation in which he is a partner, was essential for the success of the company but that he also needed to maintain and fund his online gambling activities by continuing to receive a payroll check from Pickens County. Therefore he committed the offense of Theft by Deception by obtaining payroll checks from the Pickens County Shared Leave Bank using deceitful means and by failing to report that he was able to work at Appalachian Gun Range, a business in which he is a partner knowing that this would disqualify him from receiving Pickens County payroll checks all the while maintaining he was unable to perform his job working for the Appalachian District Attorney's Office.


2022SWR4 - Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary)

In March 2022, the Criminal Investigative Unit at the Pickens Sheriff's Office began an investigation of Carlton Keith Wilson regarding his association with Scouts of Hill City Inc. (SHC Inc.), a non-profit corporation registered in the State of Georgia. In the fall of 2009, an individual, who owned ten acres of land in Pickens County, contacted the Atlanta office of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), wishing to donate the ten acres to BSA. He was referred to Carlton Wilson in Pickens County who was active with BSA in Pickens County at that time.

Through his association with Wilson, this individual eventually donated the land to Hill City Elementary PTO Inc. (PTO Inc.), a non-profit corporation registered in the State of Georgia. He made it clear the land donated was to be used solely to benefit the BSA in Pickens County. The property was deeded to PTO Inc. on November 5th, 20 l 0. PTO Inc. functioned as the chartering entity for BSA Troop 288 and Cub Scout Pack 288.

At, or about the beginning of 2015 BSA Troop 288 disbanded and the scouts joined other BSA Troops in Pickens County and their bank account was closed. There is no record with the Atlanta BSA offices of any activity of SHC Inc. after 2015, however, Cub Scout pack 288 continued for a while into 2016 and then merged into another Cub Scout pack in Pickens County. This land was deeded to SHC Inc. on July 16, 2018, even though no BSA packs or troops were associated with it.

In March 2021, SHC Inc. re-registered with the Georgia Secretary of State as a non-profit and listed the officers of the cooperation as Carlton Wilson CEO, Austin Wilson as Secretary, and Cynthia Wilson as CFO.

In August 2021, some 6 years after Scouts of Hill City Inc. BSA Troop 288 disbanded Carlton Wilson and Austin Wilson opened a checking account in the name of Scouts of Hill City Inc. at the Community Bank of Pickens County listing the only signatory as Carlton Wilson.

On September 9, 2021, the ten acres of land (referenced herein) was split into two five-acre tracts and sold to two individuals in Pickens County for $14,000.00 each ($28,000.00). On the same day, two escrow checks of $13,260.00 were deposited by Carlton Wilson into the Community Bank of Pickens County SHC Inc. account ($26,520.00). The difference in amounts reflected closing costs for Attorney Phil Landrum.

During this investigation, it was learned that Carlton Wilson had previously opened a personal checking account at South State Bank in Canton, Georgia. It is believed that no members of Wilson's family knew about this account when it was opened. Records received from South State Bank confirm the account was opened on November 9, 2020. The only signatory on this account was Carlton Wilson.

The account transactions of SHC Inc. at Community Bank of Pickens County were examined and revealed the following:

September 9, 2021 -two checks totaling $26,520.00 were deposited.

September 9, 2021 - $1520.00 cashback to Carlton Wilson.

September 1O, 2021 - check# 1002 for $9000.00 written to Carlton Wilson was deposited into Wilson's South State checking account.

September 21, 2021 - check# 1003 for $5000.00 made out to Carlton Wilson and cashed at Community Bank of Pickens County.

October 10, 2021- Check# 1005 for $5000.00 was made out to Carlton Wilson and a mobile deposit was made at his South State account.

November 1, 2021 -A direct electronic $5000.00 payment was made to a personal credit card of Carlton Wilson.

December 1, 2021 - Check #1006 was made out to Carlton Wilson for $900.00 and was cashed by Wilson at Community Bank of Pickens County.


An examination of account activity of Wilson's South State Bank revealed that the money derived from the sale of the land held in the SHC Inc. non-profit was converted to Wilson's personal use facilitating his participation in online gambling activities and payments of debts derived from online gambling activities.

Therefore, Carlton Keith Wilson did commit the offense of Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary) in that on November 1, 2021, he caused a $5000.00 electronic payment to be made directly from the Community Bank of Pickens County Scouts of Hill City Inc. account to his personal credit card. This $5000.00 was proceeds of the sale often (10) acres of land ($26,520.00) that had been held in a non-profit in which he was an officer and was intended to be devoted solely to promoting the Boy Scouts of America and the local Boy Scout Troops in Pickens County.

The next five warrants pertain to transactions of SHC Inc. at Community Bank of Pickens County.

2022SWR5 - Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary)

Therefore, Carlton Keith Wilson did commit the offense of Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary) in that on December 1, 2021, he wrote himself a check (check# 1006) for $900.00 from the Community Bank of Pickens County Scouts of Hill City Inc. account and cashed it at the bank thus converting it for his personal use. This $900.00 was proceeds of the sale of ten (10) acres of land ($26,520.00) that had been held in a non-profit in which he was an officer and was intended to be devoted solely to promoting the Boy Scouts of America and the local Boy Scout Troops in Pickens County.


2022SWR6 - Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary)

Therefore, Carlton Keith Wilson did commit the offense of Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary) in that on September 9th, 2021, after depositing the proceeds of the sale of ten ( 10) acres of land ($26,520.00) that had been held in a non-profit in which he was an officer and was intended to be devoted solely to promoting the Boy Scouts of America and the local Boy Scout Troops in Pickens County, he took $1520.00 cash for his personal use.


2022SWR7 - Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary)

Therefore, Carlton Keith Wilson did commit the offense of Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary) in that on October I 0, 2021, he wrote himself a check ( check # 1005) in the amount of $5000.00 dollars from the Community Bank of Pickens County Scouts of Hill City Inc. account and deposited it via mobile deposit into his personal South State Bank account thus converting it for his personal use. This $5000.00 dollars was proceeds of the sale of ten (10) acres of land ($26,520.00) that had been held in a non-profit in which he was an officer and was intended to be devoted solely to promoting the Boy Scouts of America and the local Boy Scout Troops in Pickens County.


2022SWR8 - Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary)

Therefore, Carlton Keith Wilson did commit the offense of Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary) in that on September 21, 2021, he wrote himself a check ( check # l 003) in the amount $5000.00 dollars from the Community Bank of Pickens County Scouts of Hill City Inc. account and cashed it at that bank. This $5000.00 dollars was proceeds of the sale often (10) acres of land ($26,520.00) that had been held in a non-profit in which he was an officer and was intended to be devoted solely to promoting the Boy Scouts of America and the local Boy Scout Troops in Pickens County.


2022SWR9 - Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary)

Therefore, Carlton Keith Wilson did commit the offense of Theft by Taking (by a fiduciary) in that on September lot\ 2021, he wrote himself a check in the amount of $9000.00 dollars from the Community Bank of Pickens County Scouts of Hill City Inc. account and deposited it into his personal South State Bank account thus converting it for his personal use. This $9000.00 dollars was proceeds of the sale of ten (10) acres of land ($26,520.00) that had been held in a non-profit in which he was an officer and was intended to be devoted solely to promoting the Boy Scouts of America and the local Boy Scout Troops in Pickens County.


BOOKING & WARRANTS (PDF)



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