HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Former Forrest County Chief Deputy Charles Bolton and his wife, Linda Bolton, have filed a civil suit against a Hub City accounting firm, longtime friend and others not yet named, seeking damages from their convictions.
Claims against Nicholson & Company:
The complaint, filed Tuesday afternoon in Forrest County Circuit Court names the defendants as Topp McWhorter Harvey, PLLC (formerly Carl Nicholson & Company, PLLC), Carl Nicholson & Company, PLLC, and "Does One through Ten."
"The Boltons bring this action against their former accountants based upon the defendant's negligence and intentional misconduct in the performance of the accounting and other services that they were employed to perform for the Boltons," according to the court filing.
Charles and Linda employed Nicholson & Company for more than 20 years to handle their accounting, bookkeeping, and tax matters personally and for their businesses, Sports 22 Café, Sports 22 Catering, and Hall Avenue Package Store.
"The Boltons employed (Nicholson & Company) to handle and provide them guidance and advice regarding all of their business and personal financial matters, including but not limited to the form, structure, operations, expenditures, revenues, assets and liabilities of (their-Boltons) businesses, as well as their personal and business investments," according to the document.
Allegations state the accounting firm, including Does One through Ten, being the people that also helped on their taxes and claims, did not perform the duties they promised and a service that was in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
"The Adverse Client(unnamed) and the Boltons were friends. From approximately 2009 to 2013, the Adverse Client had asked the Boltons to cash checks (the "Checks") which he made payable to the Boltons, and then case the checks and give the money to him, according to the filing.
The suit claims that the Boltons never kept any portion of the checks that were cashed for the Adverse Client.
"Unknown to the Boltons, in preparation and filing of the Adverse Client's tax documents and returns, the defendants deducted the amounts of the checks as business expenses on behalf of the Adverse Client. The defendants "cooked the books" for the Adverse Client and negligently and/or intentionally caused the Boltons to take the fall for their unlawful actions."
The section of the complaint, Does One through Ten "are individuals and/or entities who are individually and personally liable to the Boltons for the unlawful acts and/or omissions alleged herein, whom the Boltons will seek to join as defendants in this action once their identities are ascertained through discovery," according to the court filing.
The complaint explains they (Does One through Ten) include and are not limited to the individual accountants who acted in the course and scope of their employment and duties, and others who participated in the conspiracy alleged in the complaint, and others that are liable for personally participating in the commission of torts against the Boltons.
A portion of the complaint also details Charles' trial attorney, (unnamed), which he is listed as a conflict of interest.
Bolton states that he was unaware until after the trial, that from the beginning of his representation, a clear conflict of interest which had prevented him from adequately and effectively representing Charles.
The defense, during the Boltons trial, only called one witness to the stand, and the Boltons claim other key witnesses and their testimony could have exonerated them of the charges.
The Boltons are seeking an undisclosed amount that will be determined that the trial of the case.
Claims against John Lee:
The Boltons have also filed a suit against long-time friend and Hub City attorney, John Lee for allegedly paying the accounting company, Nicholson & Company to violate their duties to the Boltons.
The claim, filed Wednesday afternoon states that Lee knew the Boltons relied on the trust and confidence of Nicholson & Company to fulfill their duties.
"Lee paid Carl Nicholson and/or Nicholson & Company a substantial amount of money and took other actions for the purpose of inducing them to breach their duties to the Boltons, and to violate the standards governing the performance of their services, which did in fact cause Nicholson to breach and violate such duties and standards in numerous ways," according to the filing.
Lee and checks from him to the Boltons were a large portion of the federal trial, and whether the checks were for good and services, loans or just cashed by Charles and returned to Lee was heavily argued.
"The checks were not, in fact, paid to the Boltons for sales or good and services, and because the Boltons never kept any portion of the funds after cashing the checks, Nicholson did not record or report the funds as income for the Boltons," according to the complaint.
Other statements in the claim show that Lee was also involved in hiring Bolton's attorney, Joe Sam Owen, which is also stated that is a conflict of interest.
The allegations are pending litigation at this time.