Former Mississippi mayor sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty in wire fraud case

Published 2:50 pm Thursday, July 22, 2021

A former Mississippi mayor who pleaded guilt to conspiracy to commit wire fraud will spend 30 months in federal prison.

Former mayor of Moss Point Mario King was sentenced Thursday  30 months in prison and three years supervised released once his prison term is complete.

King and his wife Natasha each pleaded guilty earlier this year to one federal count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Natasha King was sentenced Thursday to probation, as recommended by prosectors.

The Kings were initially charged with 13 counts of aiding and abetting wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government through wire fraud.

Prosecutors accused the couple of raising money for mental health programs in schools but spent it on themselves for expenses that included car payments and the purchase of a pet dog.

The couple negotiated a plea deal allowing them to admit to just one count of wire fraud.

Mario King is a Democrat and was elected mayor in June 2017. He resigned in February of this year, after he and his wife pleaded guilty.

Moss Point has a population of about 13,350. It is in coastal Jackson County, near the Alabama state line. The city has about a 22% poverty rate, according to the Census.