A former Hancock County probate judge was sentenced Thursday to almost two years in prison for two counts of theft of federal funds from the county.
Marva Rice was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and will pay restitution of almost $70,000 to the county. Rice entered a plea guilty in October of 2014.
Rice was responsible for collecting fines and fees and for depositing those funds into the Probate Court bank account. The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation three years ago where they found that Rice failed to deposit almost $44,000 in the court. In 2013, the FBI also found that Rice used funds to pay personal legal fees in the amount of $20,000.
"We count on the people who are sworn to upload the law and administer justice to do just that," Michael Moore, the U.S. Attorney, said. "When Ms. Rice stole those funds, she not only took money she had no right to take, but she also violated the public trust. It is a sad day to see a judge go from wearing a black robe to wearing a federal prison uniform."