RIPLEY – A former Union County coroner will serve four years in prison for embezzling public funds.
Mark Golding pleaded guilty Monday in Tippah County to two counts of committing fraud and taking unauthorized payments as an elected official, District Attorney Ben Creekmore said.
Golding pleaded guilty to a criminal information and avoided being indicted by a grand jury set to consider his case Oct. 1. An information is a legal charge made outside of grand jury deliberations.
He was sentenced to five years per count, to be served consecutively, with six years suspended. After he serves his prison time, he will be on four years’ post-release supervision.
Golding also was ordered to pay restitution to Union County, plus legal expenses to the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office, which investigated the case. He was represented by Ashland attorney Anthony Farese.
Creekmore said restitution will be some $398,000 with about $34,000 of that being investigative costs and $80,000 from interest. The unauthorized funds he took amounted to about $284,000.