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Former GOP 'deportation bus' gubernatorial candidate sentenced for fraud charges

Michael Williams plead guilty to insurance fraud, false reporting of a crime and making a false statement to police.

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Michael Williams pleaded guilty to insurance fraud, false reporting of a crime and making a false statement to police.

The former Georgia Republican state senator and gubernatorial candidate known for his campaign to start a “deportation bus” has plead guilty to three criminal charges and has been sentenced in Hall County.

The former Senator for Georgia’s 27th District has been sentenced to four years of probation, 120 hours of community service and must pay a $5,000 fine, according to Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh.

Williams was indicted on the three counts on Dec. 13, 2018. The indictment alleges that on May 9, Williams made a false report to the Hall County Sheriff's Office claiming computer servers were stolen from his place of business. The indictment claims he filed a claim with his insurer, The Hartford, regarding the stolen servers.

RELATED: Deportation bus is latest stunt to win votes in Georgia's governor race

Williams was among Republican candidates Casey Cagle, Hunter Hill, Brian Kemp, and Clay Tippins in the primary race for Georgia's governor.

Williams had 4.88 percent of the votes, according to the Secretary of State's website.

Credit: Hall County Sheriff's Office
Michael Williams, a former gubernatorial candidate known for his "deportation bus" turned himself in to authorities for an indictment on insurance fraud.

The Republican primary race went to a runoff between Cagle and Kemp. Kemp beat his GOP opponent and ultimately won the office by defeating Democrat Stacey Abrams in the November midterm election. 

In an ad posted to his Facebook page last year, Williams said he was going on a tour of so-called sanctuary cities across the state to “shine a light on the dangers of sanctuary cities and the overwhelming problem of illegal immigration.” 

RELATED: Deportation bus tour cancels Athens stop, campaign blames DeKalb protests

Williams said he would “fill this bus with illegals and send them back to where they came from,” adding, “We’re gonna put em on this bus and send them home."

He later said he didn't actually expect to load any deportees on the bus, a vehicle complete with prison bus decals on the windows and a message on the back about Mexican immigrants who’ve entered the US illegally.