ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today announced that former Pickens County School Superintendent Carlton Wilson and his wife, Cindy Wilson, have been sentenced to prison for theft and racketeering. These charges, among others, stem from Mr. Wilson’s engagement in various schemes intended to illegally obtain funds for personal use. Mrs. Wilson also participated in one of these schemes. The Wilsons previously entered guilty pleas on Nov. 30, 2022.

“Carlton and Cindy Wilson stole from the pockets of hardworking Georgians, and now they will spend time in prison for their illegal actions,” said Carr. “This final outcome is a major victory for all those who fell victim to the couple’s fraudulent schemes, from a Boy Scout Troop to a pair of local business owners. Theft and deception of any kind will not be tolerated, and we are proud to have brought this case to court so we could put a stop to this criminal activity.”

This case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General John Fowler and investigated by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.

Case Summary

Carlton Wilson is a former teacher, school principal, magistrate judge, school superintendent and victim advocacy director for the District Attorney’s Office. He and his wife, along with two other partners, also own and operate a private company in Jasper, Georgia.

In 2009, a private land owner generously donated 10 acres of land to a Boy Scout Troop in Pickens County. Carlton Wilson was active with the Boy Scouts and exercised control over the land through his Boy Scouts association. Years later, despite the land having been donated to the Boy Scouts, Carlton Wilson sold the property and kept $26,420 instead of giving it to the Troop. He subsequently spent that money on personal expenses over a four-month period in late 2021.

In 2021 and 2022, Carlton Wilson was employed at the District Attorney’s Office in the victim advocacy department. After a serious physical injury, he exhausted the balance of his paid sick leave and certified that he was still unable to work. As a result, Pickens County permitted him to draw from a bank of county employee-donated hours. Yet, during this same time period, Carlton Wilson was actively working at a private business that had the same physical requirements. In total, he unlawfully collected more than $6,000 in donated leave from the Pickens County Government.

Between March 2017 and February 2022, both Carlton and Cindy Wilson embezzled funds from the private business they shared with two other partners. In total, the Wilsons wrote checks totaling $79,069.24 from the company and deposited them into their personal account. Additionally, the pair redirected $24,398.24 in company revenue from a vendor to their personal account. They also took $42,800 in cash from the company.

Guilty Plea and Sentencing

On Nov. 30, 2022, Carlton and Cindy Wilson pleaded guilty to the following charges.

Carlton Wilson:

  • 1 count of Racketeering
  • 1 count of Theft by Taking
  • 6 counts of Theft by Taking by a Fiduciary
  • 1 count of Theft by Deception
  • 1 count of Theft by Conversion

Cindy Wilson:

  • 1 count of Racketeering
  • 1 count of Theft by Taking

On Feb. 15, 2023, Carlton Wilson was sentenced to 15 years, with the first three years to be served in prison and the remainder on probation. Cindy Wilson was sentenced to 15 years, with the first two years to be served in prison and the remainder on probation. Together, the Wilsons were also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $95,802.02 to the Boy Scouts, the Pickens County Government, and the Appalachian Gun Range.