The mayor of Moss Point and his wife have pled guilty to charges after spending money raised for local schools on themselves in 2019.
Mario & Natasha King pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud after using money that was raised for the ‘Mayor’s Gala’ in 2019 for personal use, including the down payment on a car, cash withdrawals and the payment of credit card debts involving charges to complete the purchase of a pet.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, donations were taken up for a gala that “honors and supports organizations that are making a difference for the mental health community. Proceeds support the efforts of mental health in the City of Moss Point with a focus on the Moss Point School District, converting spaces into a therapeutic and innovative learning environment.”
Donors, either in the form of tickets purchased or contributions, were told that proceeds from the gala would go to the Moss Point School District. At the time of the event, the Kings detailed that the funds would be used to create safe spaces for mental health counseling in the district.
As part of the plea agreement, Mario will immediately resign his position as Mayor of Moss Point. The plea agreement with Natasha includes a recommended sentence of probation. Both defendants will be sentenced on May 26th and face up to five years on the conspiracy charge and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Several candidates have announced their intention to run to fill King’s position, including State Rep. Jeramey Anderson (D). Since 2013, Anderson has served District 110 in the House when he became the youngest African American ever elected to Legislature in United States History.