GULFPORT -- Jay Paul Gumm has been placed on probation and ordered to repay $8,900 he embezzled from the Stone County Economic Development Partnership.
Gumm, 52, of Rockwall County, Texas, is a former state senator from Oklahoma who was executive director of the Stone County Economic Development partnership about two years before he was fired.
Gumm pleaded guilty to an embezzlement charge Monday in Harrison County Circuit Court.
Judge Roger Clark sentenced Gumm to five years in prison but suspended prison time in lieu of two years of reporting probation, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell said.
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Clark also ordered Gumm to repay the money immediately.
Gumm had been set for trial this week.
The embezzlement involved more than $414,000. Gumm apparently had a lesser role than a co-defendant.
Still, Gumm was in a position of trust when he stole from the people of Stone County, Burrell said.
Gumm had served as an Oklahoma senator from 2002-10 before moving to South Mississippi for his position in Stone County.
He was fired after his arrest on an embezzlement charge Aug. 16, 2013.
Gumm had come under investigation in a related embezzlement investigation by the Stone County Sheriff's Office and the Mississippi State Auditor's Office. They learned Gumm had deposited EDP money into his personal banking account, Burrell said.
Tina Gillespie, an administrative assistant who has since been convicted, confirmed Gumm's embezzlement during her guilty plea in 2014.
Gillespie testified Gumm began forcing her to cash checks from the EDP and give him part of the money.
Gillespie received a 20-year prison term, with 12 suspended and eight years to serve.
She admitted embezzling about $414,795 by writing checks to herself on EDP accounts and using Gumm's signature stamp, then forging the second signature required. She was sentenced last September.