Mark Goss is now in prison in Florida.

The Madison County man who swindled local senior citizens out of their fortunes and was sentenced March 5 to 12 years behind bars turned himself into authorities this past week — after over a month free following his sentencing.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website, Goss, 47, is being held at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) - Low in Coleman. It’s described as “a low security facility housing male inmates” and it’s located in central Florida approximately 50 miles northwest of Orlando, 60 miles northeast of Tampa.

Goss was sentenced to 144 months in prison. According to the Bureau of Prison’s website, Goss’ release date is Sept. 28, 2022.

In all, Goss’ victims included 41 individuals and 10 businesses. According to documents from the United District Court for the Middle District of Georgia Athens Division, Goss collected $1,929,314 from investors. The amount of restitution owed is $1,144,781.

Judge Ashley Royal imposed a harsher jail term than typically allowed under sentencing guidelines.

Goss pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud for sending investors bogus financial documents through the U.S. Postal Service. The recommended sentencing guidelines for Goss’ crimes were 63 to 78 months incarceration. Royal said he rarely ever strays from the sentencing guidelines, but added that Goss preyed on the elderly and used local churches to facilitate his scam. He said Goss’ crimes warranted a stiffer penalty than the government recommends.

“There was a very elaborate coverup in play and this went on and on and on and many people were taken in,” said Judge Royal. “… I’ve been on the bench 10 years and I’ve never had as many victims as I’ve had today … I don’t remember one (a crime) that targets elderly people like this or in which the scheme or scam was presented in a church.”

Royal read from a number of victims’ statements prior to sentencing Goss, noting that the Madison County resident had even cheated his late mother’s best friend out of money. Goss’ victims included an 86-year-old WWII veteran who lost $280,000, a couple that had saved money to build a handicapped accessible home for their disabled daughters and an elderly woman who lost all of her money to Goss, then put her home into a reverse mortgage arrangement to cover the expenses of her own declining health. Her daughter told the judge that her mother died upset with the knowledge that she had nothing to leave for her children.

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