More than a year after being accused of criminal tax evasion, a former Franklin County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy and his spouse have been given a trial date.
Alvin T. Cummins II, 43, and Jennifer Cummins, 35, are scheduled to go before a Shelby County jury in February. They were indicted in February 2018 on four counts each of willfully falsifying tax returns or failing to file a tax return, a Class D felony.
The Cumminses, of Waddy, are scheduled to have their last pretrial conference on Jan. 20.
If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison for each felony count.
Though the case has been long pending, few details have been revealed about the charges against the two. Shelby County Circuit Court files only state that the prosecution plans to show the Cumminses acted with an “intent to evade payment of tax” by either falsifying or failing to file tax documents from 2013 to 2016.
Shelby County Commonwealth’s Attorney Laura L. Witt did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment. She previously told The State Journal that the sums involved in the alleged false tax returns were “more than $3,500.”
The case came to light when former Sheriff Pat Melton held the office and employed Alvin Cummins as his chief deputy. Cummins was initially suspended without pay when Melton learned of the indictment, but nine days later Melton reinstated Cummins – at his nearly $70,000 salary – in an administrative role. In interviews with The State Journal following the reinstatement, Melton maintained that Cummins’ indictment had “nothing to do with the sheriff’s office.”
Melton also allowed Cummins to use vacation days for the time he spent on suspension.
A month after being indicted, at their arraignment hearing, the couple pleaded not guilty to the charges.