Sentencing Delayed For Moss Point Ex-Mayor And His Wife

Moss Point Mayor Mario King, left, and his wife, Natasha King, head toward the federal courthouse in Gulfport, Miss., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, to plead guilty to a charge of conspiring to defraud the federal government. Prosecutors said the mayor, who resigned Wednesday, and his wife had raised money for mental health programs in schools but spent it on themselves for expenses that included car payments and the purchase of a pet dog. (Alyssa Newton/The Sun Herald via AP)
Moss Point Mayor Mario King, left, and his wife, Natasha King, head toward the federal courthouse in Gulfport, Miss., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, to plead guilty to a charge of conspiring to defraud the federal government. Prosecutors said the mayor, who resigned Wednesday, and his wife had raised money for mental health programs in schools but spent it on themselves for expenses that included car payments and the purchase of a pet dog. (Alyssa Newton/The Sun Herald via AP)
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GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — Sentencing has been delayed for a former Mississippi mayor and his wife.

Mario King is a Democrat who was elected mayor of Moss Point in 2017. He resigned in February of this year, after he and his wife, Natasha King, each pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors said the couple raised money for mental health programs in schools but spent it on themselves for expenses that included car payments and the purchase of a pet dog.

Sentencing was scheduled for Thursday. But, Mario King’s attorney, Calvin Taylor, said in court papers this week that a presentencing report shows the former mayor is accused of mortgage fraud in Texas and "has further engaged in behavior that amounts to obstruction of justice in the opinion of Probation and Parole.”

The U.S. attorney's office said in a news release in February that Natasha King's plea agreement included a recommended sentence of probation. Mario King faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Moss Point has a population of about 13,350. It is in coastal Jackson County, near the Alabama state line.