A former Belmont County Attorney and Saint Clairsville City Councilman pleads guilty to mail fraud.

Mark Thomas is now facing a federal crime, which could put him behind bars for up to 20 years.

Mark Thomas has officially resigned as Saint Clairsville City Councilman.

Thomas was accused of four counts of federal mail fraud relating to his now-defunct legal practice. He pled guilty to one charge today and three have been dismissed.

This comes after a federal grand jury charged Thomas on September 30th with crimes relating to stealing more than half a million dollars from an elderly woman with dementia while acting as her power of attorney.

Documents dating back to 2012 through 2019 reveal Thomas defrauded a client while serving as her power of attorney. It alleges Thomas took the victim’s money without her knowledge or permission to use for his benefit.

Thomas could face the maximum sentence for mail fraud of up to 20 years and a fine of $250,000.

Part of his guilty plea is a restitution of at least $882,502.

Just hours after the fact, Thomas has already released a letter of resignation from his council seat.

“It is with heavy heart that, effective today, August 15th, 2022, I am unable to continue to serve. My love for the city is beyond words. While my service has been short, I am elated we have a council that is courteous to each other and truly has the city’s best interest at heart.”

Mark Thomas, Former Belmont County Attorney pleads guilty to mail fraud

Saint Clairsville Mayor Kathryn Thalman also responded to the news.

“I hope justice is served and the city can remain focused on the projects at hand.”

Saint Clairsville Mayor Kathryn Thalman

Thomas’ sentencing date has yet to be released.

Stay with 7NEWS and WTRF.com for more updates.