Court gavel

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a former Alabama sheriff to 18 months in prison for fraud related to the jail food program.

News outlets report a federal judge on Monday gave the sentence to former Pickens County Sheriff David Abston. Abston was sheriff for over 30 years.

Prosecutors say Abston scammed a food bank and his church to get jail food at low cost and boost his income. He pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

Prosecutors said Abston got a food bank to provide food to his church to feed the poor. Instead, much of it went to his jail. A state law at the time allowed sheriffs to pocket excess jail food funds.

Abston was ordered to pay $51,000 restitution.

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