Former Richmond County Coroner Indicted on Federal Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft Charges
AUGUSTA, GA—Grover F. Tuten, Jr., 72, the former Coroner for Richmond County, Georgia, was indicted earlier this week by a federal grand jury sitting in Savannah on charges related to his repeated and fraudulent use of a deceased person’s debit card. The indictment alleges that Tuten received cash payments as a result.
Tuten faces a federal charge of fraudulently using a debit card without authorization. If convicted, Tutenfaces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Tuten also faces a count of aggravated identity theft. If convicted of that charge, Tuten would receive an additional two-year prison sentence, consecutive to any other sentence imposed. Tuten already faces state charges of theft by taking and violation of oath by a public officer and is being prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office for the Augusta Judicial Circuit.
U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver emphasized that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation of Tuten was conducted by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lamont A. Belk is prosecuting the federal case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.