Former Milton Mayor Guy Thompson has reported to federal prison in North Carolina about six weeks after he was sentenced on wire fraud and tax evasion charges for stealing at least $650,000 from United Way of Santa Rosa County.
On Monday, Thompson checked into Federal Correctional Institution Butner Low in eastern North Carolina, a low security detention facility, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
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It was not immediately clear why Thompson did not go to the Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, which is where the court recommended he go in a judgement issued in early February.
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In North Carolina, Thompson will serve the next four years and three months of his sentence. Thompson is not eligible for parole, but could be let out a few months early, at most, for good behavior.
A total of 1,239 inmates, all men, reside at FCI Butner Low.
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Thompson's attorney, Ryan Cardoso, did not immediately return the News Journal's requests for comment on Monday.
Thompson was sentenced Jan. 17 after he pleaded guilty in May 2019 to 20 counts of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion. An FBI investigation uncovered years of theft and deceit while Thompson served at the helm of the charity formerly known as United Way of Santa Rosa County. Between 2011 and 2018, Thompson embezzled more than $650,000 from the organization using a complex check fraud scheme.
Federal investigators believe Thompson stole more than $650,000, but they were only able to prove theft as far back as 2011 due to a law dictating financial institutions should destroy bank records after seven years.
Thompson used the stolen money to buy a BMW, a beach condo and other luxury items for himself and his family, investigators testified in court.
The ex-mayor was a beloved community figurehead in the city of Milton and beyond. He had served as director of the United Way of Santa Rosa County for nearly its entire 40-year life span, during which time he also served as a city councilman and as mayor.
Annie Blanks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-435-8632.