SALT LAKE CITY -- Garth B. Day now faces six felony counts in U.S. District Court over allegations that he embezzled money while working as Morgan County administrator.
Day was orginally charged with 43 counts in 2nd District Court for the same allegations, but Morgan County Attorney Jann Farris said he plans to drop those charges now that the case has moved to federal jurisdiction.
Day held the council administrator position from June 2008 to Aug. 4, 2010, and was "responsible for managing, controlling, and reconciling Morgan County's finances, accounts and fund."
In a small community, Farris said, that is a big job.
"I plan to make sure the judge understands what he has done to a small community," when it comes time for sentencing, said Farris, who is cross-deputized as a special U.S. attorney, or federal prosecutor.
The federal charges against Day include money laundering; false loan and credit applications; theft from a program receiving federal funds; and wire, mail and bank fraud.
"This is a day we've been waiting for for a long time," Farris said. "I'm hoping he gets several years in prison. In his lifetime, he will not come close to paying the money back. We need a pound of flesh."
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, prosecutors are seeking $465,537 in money judgments due to loss from alleged fraudulent activity in 2009 and 2010.
The case is still under investigation by several agencies, including the FBI, Morgan County Sheriff's Office, Morgan County Attorney's Office, and now the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"The local law enforcement should get a lot of credit" as should Treasurer Bonnie Thompson, who first raised questions about Day's actions, Farris said.
"Our sheriff's office did a thorough and professional investigation. They took time and didn't jump to any assumptions. They handed the feds a nice, tight case."
According to felony information filed Tuesday, the "theft from a program receiving federal funds" charge was the result of Day, an Elwood resident, converting U.S. Department of Transportation funds to his personal use.
Penalties could mean 10 years' jail time and a $250,000 fine.
Fines for "making a materially false statement and report" to influence a financial institution, in this case Centennial Bank, are much stiffer. Day claimed he had the county's authority to apply for a $250,000 line of credit, but he did not.
The actions could net him 30 years of prison time and a $1 million fine.
The third count, wire fraud, came after Day used an interstate wire transmission to transfer $92,000 from a "Morgan County RDA" account to his personal U.S. Bank account "to pay off personal debt," according to the charges.
Count four, mail fraud, alleges Day mailed a letter to First National Bank of Morgan requesting the disbursement of funds to him.
Bank fraud, the fifth count, alleges Day took funds from a First National Bank of Morgan account to open a bank account in the county's name at another bank, in this case Chase Bank. Although in the county's name, Day allegedly used the funds for personal expenses.
The wire, mail and bank fraud counts carry a maximum penalty of 30 years' prison time and $1 million in fines per count.
The sixth and final count alleges Day laundered money ($92,000 from the Centennial Bank line of credit) to pay off his credit card debt at another bank.
The maximum penalty carries 10 years' prison time and a $250,000 fine.
Day's initial appearance in federal court will be scheduled in the next few days.