Former Milton mayor pleads guilty

Former Milton Mayor and executive director of United Way of Santa Rosa County Guy Thompson pleaded guilty today 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. U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe announced the guilty plea.

His sentencing hearing is currently set for 1 p.m. July 29. The government intends to forfeit all proceeds of Thompson’s fraud, including approximately $221,000 that has already been seized from his bank accounts.

Between at least 2011 and 2018, Thompson embezzled money belonging to the non-profit while he was employed as its executive director. Thompson devised a complex scheme where he kept a portion of money intended for use to pay the organization’s regular bills and expenses by replacing it with other donation checks no one knew about. By conducting a series of complicated financial transactions to cover his tracks, Thompson embezzled over $650,000 from United Way of Santa Rosa County.

Thompson maintained his scheme by making fraudulent misrepresentations to board members and employees, its parent nonprofit United Way Worldwide, and bank personnel. He also took steps to prevent internal or external audits of UWSRC from occurring that would have uncovered his fraud. Thompson then failed to report to the Internal Revenue Service the extra income from his embezzlement scheme, which ranged from approximately $86,000 to $99,000 in a given year.

Thompson served as Milton’s mayor from 1994-2014. Prior to his election, he served on the town’s council from 1978-1994.