Thomas asks for a sentence of 51 months | News, sports, jobs

City says 7,000 summer jobs are available for Boston youth ages 14 to 18

Former St. Clairsville Councilman Mark Thomas, through his attorney, sought a 4-year, 3-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal mail fraud charges.

In a memorandum filed last week, Thomas’ attorney Andrew B. Friday.

Thomas, 63, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in August after being accused of defrauding an elderly client of her former law firm while serving as her official agent, taking her money without her knowledge or permission and using it for his own benefit.

The fraud occurred from 2012 to 2019. The indictment against Thomas said he improperly used his power of attorney and attorney status, even after his legal license was revoked in 2015 to persuade banks, life insurance companies and other organizations to divert client funds for his use.

Avellano wrote in his diary that Thomas embezzled a large sum of money over several years. As part of the plea agreement, Thomas agreed to pay no less than $882,502 in restitution. Avellano wrote that Thomas had known the victim for many years and “genuinely cared for her well-being.”

“Since she was so well off financially, and they were friends,” he wrote, “Mark mistakenly thought she would be ‘okay’ when he borrowed some money from her.” “He intended to return the money, but soon found himself reckless. He was ashamed and lacked the courage to come forward and ask for help, before things got out of hand. Mark accepted responsibility for his actions and made no excuses for his behavior.”

Requesting a 51-month prison sentence, Avellano said Thomas’ offense was neither violent nor related to illegal drugs. Avellano added that the sooner Thomas gets out of jail, the sooner he can start paying meaningful compensation to his victim’s heirs.

Avellano requested great consideration of Thomas’s age and physical condition. Avellano, who is 63, said it was very unlikely that Thomas would commit another crime. Thomas’ health issues also play a role.

“Unfortunately, Mark has a number of serious health issues,” Avellano wrote. “One of his conditions was treated years ago, through several surgeries, but it still works and contributes to other health issues he has.”

Until Thomas committed this crime, Avellano concluded, his life was a public service to his community. He also served as Belmont County Commissioner, among other roles.

“Something went wrong with Mark, something beyond the mere interpretation of ‘greed’ as the government claims,” ​​Avellano wrote. “Mark didn’t take money to live an extravagant lifestyle. He was struggling financially and wrongly thought he could borrow money from an old friend. He didn’t intend to hurt her and always intended to pay her back.”

In 2024, Thomas ran unopposed for the third Ward seat of the St. Clairsville City Council and was elected. He served in that position until his resignation in August 2024 after pleading guilty.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox