ALBANY, Ga. — A jury found Charles Lamon Tharpe guilty Thursday of using Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office computers to fraudulently access seven convicts’ personal information, a court official stated.
The former deputy also was found guilty of violation of oath by a public officer, District Attorney Greg Edwards said.
Edwards said that sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. today. If Superior Court Judge Tracy Moulton gives Tharpe the maximum, it would be a life sentence.
“Each count carries 30 years in prison maximum,” Edwards said. “He could get more than 300 years in prison.”
Edwards said that Tharpe stole Social Security numbers and birth dates from the records of seven prisoners who were initially kept in Dougherty County Jail. Tharpe then offered to barter the information for sexual favors from a woman cooperating in the investigation.
“We had it all on text messages they sent each other,” Edwards said. “We also had taped conversations as evidence.”
Six of the convicts whose identities were stolen were serving life-in-prison sentences. The seventh man is serving 40 years, Edwards said.
The information Tharpe was willing to barter could have allowed criminals to fraudulently start credit accounts and defraud businesses in other ways. In the end, Edwards said, the consumer would have ended up paying for the thefts.