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Government wants Sutton's property

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

June 26, 2008

Homerville - The federal government wants to seize property that belongs to a Homerville judge and his wife.

Prosecutors filed paperwork in federal court that accuses Berrien and Lisa Sutton of building a home in Atkinson County using illegal fees collected from Brooks Blitch, some of which was sent through the U.S. Postal Service.

The complaint says, "Beginning in early 1997 and continuing until on or after January, 2008, Blitch, Berrien Sutton, Lisa Sutton and others devised a scheme to defraud which involved B. Sutton or L. Sutton being assigned by Blitch to certain positions within the Alapaha Judicial Circuit for which B. Sutton and L. Sutton received substantial compensation.  Blitch created the various paid positions within the Alapaha Circuit for the Sutton as repayment for legal services provided by B. Sutton in relation to Blitch's personal business interests and family matters."

Prosecutors say the couple collected more than $500,000 for doing minimal or no work in positions created by Blitch. 

The papers go on to say the Sutton's should forfeit the property since "probable cause exists to believe the Defendant Property represents or is traceable to the gross receipts obtained, directly or indirectly from mail fraud and is therefore subject to forfeiture."

Blitch recently resigned as Chief Superior Court Judge in the Alapaha Circuit and Sutton resigned as state and juvenile court judge.