A former mayor of Moss Point in Mississippi Mario King, and his wife Natasha Kings have been convicted on a one count charge for Conspiracy to commit wire fraud arising in connection to a party held in 2019. The ex-Mayor was sentenced to serve 2 years and 6 months in a correctional facility and to thereafter be under supervision following his freedom for three years; his wife N. Kings was similarly given three years of probation and home confinement for 6 months. They were further directed to pay $6,937.98 as restoration, while M. king was required to pay $8,000 in fines and his wife to pay $5,500 as a fine.
The mayor who was elected in 2017, had announced his intention to organize a Gala in 2019 and solicited for funds for the event, pledging that the excess collection raised from the event after sorting out the incurred costs, would be used for mental health development in the community especially in the Moss Point School District. After the event, the mayor and his wife utilized the funds for purposes other than mental health development; they were used to cater for personal issues such as payment of a credit card debt, the payment for a personal pet and a vehicle among others.
The couple were originally charged with 13 counts of aiding and abetting fraud, where the Mayor was in the danger of being sentenced to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 but after a plea bargain, the charges were reduced and the sentencing also ameliorated. Mario King’s sentences were reduced on the grounds that she was a follower and would not have been in the position she found herself if she was not with her husband.
It is also reported that the embattled Mayor was also involved in a Mortgage Fraud in the state of Texas which is where the defendants and their family had moved to since they pleaded guilty. However, they claimed through their attorney Calvin Taylor that the purported fraud was an oversight in notifying their probation officer especially due to the burden they faced as a family emphasizing that the act was not intended to deceive or to be used fraudulently.
The Mayor is expected to begin his sentence within 60 days from the date of the sentencing according to reports.