The former mayor of Milton, Florida, was sentenced to prison Friday for embezzling over $650,000 from the United Way charity between 2011 and 2018.

Guy Thompson, 65, will serve 51 months in jail after last year pleading guilty to 20 counts of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion related to the embezzlement.

Court documents related to the case reveal that Thompson deposited funds from the charity into a personal account behind the backs of all involved with the region’s chapter of United Way. He reportedly used the funds, a total of $652,000.61, to purchase a beachside condominium and make mortgage payments.

“Words cannot express the remorse and sorrow that Mr. Thompson feels in this case,” Thompson’s attorney Ryan Cardoso said in a statement to CNN.

Thompson had a long history with the charity, having served as the Milton-area chapter’s head for 39 years. He had also served as mayor for 20 years and sat on the city council for 16. His crimes first came to light after he was forced out of his position at United Way in October 2018, prompting an FBI investigation and an internal audit. Thompson had reportedly used an elaborate check fraud scheme to keep his actions hidden from the charity’s board and bookkeepers.

The U.S. government is also seeking the complete restitution of the $650,000 that Thompson stole. Roughly $220,000 has been seized from his bank account and he has put one of his local properties up for sale to help pay back the amount.

A mental health counselor testified that Thompson suffered from depression and that he "couldn't keep up" with his big-spending family. 

“I’m very sorry. I wish it would have never happened. It’s out of character,” Thompson said. “I let a lot of people down. I am ashamed of what I have done and I ask for forgiveness.”

Thompson served as mayor from 1994 to 2014. He previously served on the city council for 16 years.

Milton is roughly 25 miles northeast of Pensacola and has an estimated population of over 10,000.

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