U.S. Attorney Walt Wilkins said Monday former Union County Sheriff Howard Wells is accused of persuading a witness to mislead investigators and destroy evidence as part of a loan investigation.
Wells faces up to 45 years in prison if he is convicted. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.
The Susan Smith case vaulted Wells into the national spotlight in 1994.
The Union County mother said her two sons had been taken in a carjacking. But nine days later, Smith confessed to Wells she had let her car roll into a lake with the boys inside.
Smith is currently serving life in prison.