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Former candidate for governor Michael Williams takes plea deal on insurance fraud case
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Former gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams leaves Hall County Jail after turning himself in Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018 on charges of insurance fraud and false report of a crime. - photo by Austin Steele

Former gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams was sentenced to probation after fraudulently claiming computers were stolen from his office in Gainesville.

Williams took a plea deal under the First Offender Act last week for four years of probation in the insurance fraud case, Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said.

Williams was given four years of probation each on insurance fraud and false statements charges and 12 months of probation on a false report of a crime charge. Those sentences will run concurrently, meaning Williams serves four years probation.

Williams was sentenced under the First Offender Act by Superior Court Judge Clint Bearden, who also imposed a $5,000 fine and 120 hours of community service, Darragh said.

Darragh did not comment any further on the case.

If Williams fulfills the terms of the sentence he will be exonerated under the First Offender Act.

Defense attorney AJ Richman did not return a request for comment Tuesday, May 28.

Williams, a state senator from Cumming, was charged by a Hall County grand jury Dec. 18 after an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

A $10,000 bond was agreed upon by Richman, Darragh and Bearden.

According to the indictment, Williams was accused of “claiming that computer servers were stolen from his place of business, when in fact they were not” when filing an insurance claim to The Hartford.

In May, Williams’ campaign spokesman Seth Weathers told The Times that about $300,000 worth of cryptocurrency servers were missing from Williams’ office on Monroe Drive in Gainesville. Williams had been using the servers for his business, LPW Investments, and running campaign operations out of a separate part of the building.

Editor's note:  A previous version of this story included inaccurate information from a source about the length of Williams' sentence.