(Georgia Department of Law News Release) - Yesterday, Eugene B. Wimby, Jr. pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-2) for fraudulently collecting his father's retirement benefits from the Teachers' Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) after his father's death.
Wimby, Jr. is the son of TRS retiree and former principal of East Atlanta High School, Eugene B. Wimby, Sr. In July of 1982, Wimby, Sr. began receiving retirement benefits, and commencing in 1988, his monthly benefits were electronically transferred into his checking account. In October 2007, Wimby, Sr. appointed his son, Wimby, Jr., as his attorney-in-fact vis-à-vis that checking account.
Wimby, Jr. failed to disclose his father's death on September 26, 2008 to TRS, and between October 2008 and November 2009, Wimby, Jr. stole $53,525.95 in TRS funds from Wimby, Sr.'s checking account. He accomplished the theft by transferring the TRS funds into his own checking or business accounts or by directly withdrawing the funds. TRS continued paying retirement benefits until it discovered Sr.'s death in November 2009 via a mortality report.
Judge Karen Woodson sentenced Wimby, Jr., under the First Offender Act, to three years to serve 120 days in custody. Judge Woodson commuted the 120 days to time he had already served and ordered the balance to be served on probation. As a special condition of probation, the court ordered the defendant to pay $49,829.13 restitution to TRS, which the defendant paid in full at the time of the plea. After three months, the balance of his sentence will be suspended on the condition that he commit no further violations of the law.
Assistant Attorney General Shepard Orlow prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Agent Rocky Bigham of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.