MADISON COUNTY, Ga. - A northeast Georgia couple is charged with racketeering after investigators accused them of stealing more than $10,000 from a youth football league.
The Madison County Sheriff's Office charged Michael and Sherry Hawkes with violating Georgia's Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization, or RICO act instead of simple felony theft by taking. Sheriff Kip Thomas said this was done after consultation with the county District Attorney's Office.
Both Hawkes served as officers with the Madison County Youth Association football league.
"The Madison County Sheriff's Office was contacted by members of the MCYA board concerning disrepancies in their bank accounts," said Sheriff Thomas. "After a two and a half month investigation, enough probably cause was obtained to issue warrants on both suspects. The exact amount of money taken is not being released at this time, but figures are showing over $10,000."
Channel 2 Action News went by the Hawkes' Madison County home. Sherry Hawkes opened the door and spoke briefly about the accusations.
"There was a lot of stuff that's incorrect," said Hawkes. "But we'll fight it in court. We'll going to fight it in court."
Both Hawkes are out of jail on $5,600 bond.
They both worked for the University of Georgia, but UGA confirmed Tuesday it fired Sherry Hawkes from her accounting job at the Carl Vinson Institute. A UGA spokesman said Michael Hawkes continues to work his maintenance job but is on administrative leave at this time.