Former Belmont commissioner jailed for mail fraud

Special to the Enterprise

COLUMBUS – Former Belmont County attorney and Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas, of St. Clairsville, was taken into custody Oct. 5 by the St. Clairsville Police Department. 

Thomas, 61, was jailed without bond on a mail fraud charge. He is charged with four counts of mail fraud, a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

According to court documents, from 2012 through August 2019, Thomas defrauded a client while serving as her power of attorney. It is alleged that Thomas took the victim’s money without her knowledge or permission to use for his own benefit.

Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and FBI Special Agent in Charge J. William Rivers announced the charges on Sept. 30. The Ohio Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Unit and the FBI investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys David J. Twombly and S. Courter Shimeall are representing the U.S. in this case.

In all, Thomas is accused of stealing more than a half-million dollars from an elderly woman with dementia while acting as her power of attorney.