Former chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of North Central Georgia (BGCNCG) pled guilty last Wednesday to one count of theft by taking under Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Terry Massey. Landers Thomas, 52, Norcross, was sentenced to 15 years with the first 60 days to serve at the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and the remainder to be served on probation.
Thomas was also ordered by the court to pay restitution in the amount of $49,770 to benefit the BGCNCG and a fine of $1,000 as well as complete 100 hours of community service.
Thomas was initially arrested on Nov. 17, 2017 by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations concluding an investigation into approximately $50,000 of funds re-directed from Boys and Girls Club accounts and used for Thomas’ personal expenditures. After his arrest he was released on a $50,000 bond.
Thomas was indicted two months ago by a Morgan County Grand Jury during the September 2018 term on nine counts of felony theft by taking. He was also arrested on November 2 and surrendered his bond after missing several court appearances. He was incarcerated in the Morgan County Detention Center from Nov. 2 until his plea agreement on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
According to court documents, Thomas agreed to return to the Morgan County Detention Center on Dec. 23, 2018 to begin to serve the 60 day sentence.
If, court documents state, Thomas satisfies all sums and probation requirement, with timely payments in four years his sentence will be completed. Thomas, court records state, must seek permission and approval from the court before pursuing or obtaining employment with any financial authority.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Thomas is suspected to have embezzled for roughly two years – 2015 to 2017 – prior to his discovery. An investigation on his expenditures revealed both credit card and check purchases that were personal in nature such as bills, but nevertheless, unallowable for the mission of the BGCNCG.
In a letter Thomas wrote to the court, he wrote:
“My intent and purpose are to be accountable, close this chapter for the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, the community, my family, and me personally and foremost honor my promise to God as we changing me and allowing me to walk a path that I have been running from for years… but I accept whatever is determined and look forward to what is ahead for me.”
Thomas’ attorney declined to comment on the case.