HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Thursday, the U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals decided to uphold the convictions and sentences of former Forrest County Chief Deputy, Charles Bolton and his wife Linda Bolton (on tax evasion charges).
A federal court jury found the Boltons guilty of tax evasion and filing false income taxes. Charles Bolton was sentenced to 45 months in prison, and Linda Bolton received a 30-month sentence.
The couple claimed that checks written to them from attorney John Lee for more than $270,000 over a five-year span were loans not income. Federal prosecutors claimed otherwise.
Among other things, Bolton’s attorneys claim that his current sentence of 45 months exceeded the court's sentencing guidelines of 33 months, but prosecutors said the extra time was a result of evidence that Bolton had stolen food from the county jail and used it at his sports bar and catering service.
The government says they are owed $28,000 of tax money for the stolen food. The appeals court denied all the appeals and arguments and ordered the Boltons to begin paying restitution at the time of their supervised release.