Former Milton mayor and ex-head of United Way of Santa Rosa county sentenced to federal prison for fraud and tax evasion


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Date: January 19, 2020


PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Guyland W. Thompson, a former mayor of Milton, Florida, and ex-executive director of the United Way of Santa Rose County, today was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion. Thompson of Milton, was ordered to forfeit $221,868.28 seized from his bank accounts and pay an additional money judgment of $430,132.33. Restitution will be decided at a later hearing. The sentence was announced today by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Thompson pled guilty last May to 20 counts of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion stemming from his embezzlement of funds from United Way of Santa Rosa County while he ran the organization.

Between at least 2011 and 2018, Thompson embezzled over $650,000 from the charity. He used his position and access to the charity's records and bank accounts to steal money from the charity for years by conducting a series of complicated financial transactions to cover his tracks. He also made false representations to board members, employees, bank tellers, and United Way Worldwide to keep his fraud undetected for so long. Thompson then failed to report to the Internal Revenue Service the extra income from his embezzlement scheme.

As a result of Thompson's crimes, United Way of Santa Rosa County lost its charter with the international organization and was forced to close. The restitution Thompson was ordered to pay will be divided between United Way of Santa Rosa County and 15 local charities that previously had been supported by it.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alicia H. Forbes.