Feds accuse Morgan County sheriff of laundering tax money for personal gain.
DECATUR, Alabama - The bankruptcy court in North Alabama is looking into the actions of Morgan County, Alabama Sheriff Ana Frankin and the official charged with finding misappropriated money has filed federal complaints against her claiming she had questionable connections to a used car lot operated and partly owned by a known felon. The allegations don't specifically use the term "money laundering," but the allegations are just that.
Performance Auto Sales and its parent company, Priceville Partners, LLC is in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings.
Bankruptcy trustee Stuart Maples, the man charged with finding misappropriated money, told the federal court that Franklin benefited from her relationship with Priceville Partners.
Franklin loaned that business $150,000 in taxpayer money. That money was supposed to be used to feed inmates.
The trustee’s filing from Friday says Franklin made an insider deal on a travel trailer and that she’s never fully paid for it. In other words, Franklin allegedly loaned the dealership money and got a free or almost free travel trailer for it, thus using tax payer money to buy a travel trailer for herself.
The trustee accused Franklin of taking out two title loans on the travel trailer through a title pawn business owned by Priceville Partners, the same company that owned the dealership. In short, the accusation is Franklin was laundering stolen tax money. She allegedly got a free or nearly free travel trailer and then she got the money back, laundered, by the dealer's title pawn company.
Franklin’s daughter, Alyssa, worked at the title pawn where Franklin took out the title loan on the travel trailer she bought from the dealership she invested tax money into.
The complaint also says Franklin bought a Ford truck and a 2004 John Deere 5303 front end loader and through Priceville Partners.
The bankruptcy trustee told the court that Franklin unjustly profited from insider deals too good to be true, and alleged those deals were financed with below market interest rates and via questionable money transfers.
Last week, Sheriff Franklin declined to comment on the allegations.