SALT LAKE CITY — A former Morgan County Council administrator is headed to federal prison for embezzling more than $800,000 from his employer.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson sentenced Garth B. Day, 42, to four years in prison and ordered him to pay $416,333 in restitution. Day earlier pleaded guilty to theft of government funds, false loan applications, wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

Day managed the county's finances from June 2008 to August 2010. He admitted that he stole the money to pay off personal debts, including those incurred from the construction of two spec homes.

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Day, of Elwood, converted federal transportation funds to his own use, wired county redevelopment money to a personal account and opened a personal bank account in the county's name. He told a bank he had the authority to open a $250,000 line of credit for the county when he did not. He also forged a county councilman's signature on loan papers.

Initially confronted about the discrepancies in spring 2010, Day admitted that he created false documents to cover the crimes. He was placed on leave without pay until he was fired in August 2010.

Day returned about half of the stolen money after he was arrested and had to pay the rest as a condition of his plea agreement. He was originally charged in state court with 43 counts of financial fraud before the case was transferred to federal court.