On Wednesday, the Associated Press and the Brunswick News reported that former Georgia state Sen. Michael Williams pleaded guilty to a criminal scheme in which falsely reported a theft of computer servers at his campaign office to police.
Williams, who was indicted last December on charges of insurance fraud and lying to investigators, reportedly entered the plea last week, under the Georgia First Offenders Act. He was fined $5,000 and sentenced to four years of probation and 120 hours of community service.
Williams ran for governor of Georgia in 2018, only to come in dead last in the GOP primary with just 5 percent of the vote, but his campaign attracted national attention for a racist stunt. The candidate toured the state in what came to be called the "deportation bus" covered with messages like "FILL THIS BUS WITH ILLEGALS," "FOLLOW ME TO MEXICO," and "DANGER! MURDERERS, RAPISTS, KIDNAPPERS, CHILD MOLESTORS [sic] AND OTHER CRIMINALS ON BOARD."
His statewide tour in the bus was met with widespread protests, and resulted in the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain banning him from campaigning on their property.
Williams made the false burglary claim to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation official during the campaign. He claimed that the "stolen" computers were not actually related to his campaign, and were being used to mine cryptocurrency for a side venture, but had been set up in his campaign office.