Government responds to Charles, Linda Bolton's request for acquittal, new trial

Government responds to Charles, Linda Bolton's request for acquittal, new trial
Charles and Linda Bolton (Photo source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - On Monday, the government filed a response to Charles and Linda Bolton's request for an acquittal and a new trial.

Charles and Linda Bolton were indicted for a 10 count indictment for attempted tax evasion and filing false tax returns on March 22, 2016. They were both found guilty on Sept. 15th.

Charles was convicted on four counts of tax evasion, not guilty on one count of tax evasion and guilty on all five counts related to filing a false tax return.

Linda was convicted on five counts of filing a false tax return and not guilty on one count of tax evasion, with a "no verdict" or mistrial being declared on the remaining four.

"The Government opposes the motions defendants Charles and Linda Bolton have submitted seeking relief under Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure," said Assistant United States Attorney, Fred Harper in the court document.

According to the filing, there is sufficient evidence to sustain the verdicts.

"Both defendants request that the Court overturn the jury's deliberative verdicts on all counts of conviction for which they were respectively found guilty, on the grounds that the jury heard insufficient evidence to convict on each count," said Harper.

Charles and Linda Bolton's request bases their grounds on the arguments that the government failed to establish that checks received from John Lee constituted taxable income.

"In doing so, defendants simply disagree with the collective evidence presented and the jury's interpretation of that evidence," said Harper. "Defendants displeasure with the outcome of the trial, however, is not enough, and is insufficient under the law."

The government also noted a response to the verdicts given, that were varying on multiple counts, stating it is not grounds for a new trial or an acquittal.

Another issue in the government's response pertains to Linda Bolton's jury instructions, which also the government claims is not grounds for a new trial or an acquittal.

Linda claimed the Court's denial of proposed jury instructions, Numbers 4, 5, and 7, abridged her constitutional rights by lifting the government from its burden of proving elements in the crime.

No. 7: The Government's contention is that John Lee checks were written to purchase food and alcohol. In order for you to consider this as taxable income, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the checks were written to purchase food and alcohol. If the government fails to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, you may not consider those checks as taxable income.

No. 4: Title 26 U.S. Code, Section 102(a) provides: "Gross income does not include the value of property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or inheritance." Thus, a gift of money need not be reported as income on the tax return of the person who received the gift.

No. 5: Title 26 U.S. Code, Sections 2501 and 2502, provides that gifts above a certain amount are taxable, but the tax "shall be paid by the donor." 26 USC 2502(C). In other words, the recipient of a monetary gift does not owe taxes on it and is not required to report the gift on his/her tax return.

Specific instructions were denied because the government had already met its burden of proof, and others were unsubstained and without foundation in the evidence on behalf of the defense.

"The government respectfully requests that Defendants Charles Bolton's renewed motion for a judgment of acquittal and the conditional grant of a new trial, or alternatively, motion for a new trial and Defendant Linda Bolton's motion for a judgment of acquittal, or in the alternative, for a new trial be denied," said Harper.

A ruling on the requests has not yet been entered by District Judge Keith Starrett at this time.

Charles and Linda Bolton are set to be sentenced on Dec. 19th, at 2:30 by District Judge Keith Starrett at the William M. Colmer Federal Building & United States Courthouse.