MONROE, Ga. — Monroe businessman Michael John Cash Sr. has been paroled from state prison, 3 1/2 years after his conviction for racketeering.

Cash was the face of Mike Cash Office Products, a staple downtown business, for many years. State revenue agents raided that business in June 2015 and accused he and his wife of failing to pay sales taxes.

He was convicted in a 2017 trial in Walton County Superior Court on two counts of violating the state’s Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act and 19 counts of converting to personal use money intended for the state.

Cash, now 64, received a 20-year split sentence to serve eight years in state prison. He was paroled Feb. 17 and will remain on parole until August 2025.

Georgia Department of Corrections records indicate Cash most recently was housed at the Mitchell County Correctional Institution in Camilla.

Deborah Pannell Cash entered a non-negotiated plea of one count of violating the RICO Act. Judge Samuel Ozburn handed down a 20-year sentence with four to be served in state prison.

She served two years and eight months, being released from the Emanuel Women’s Facility in September 2019.

Deborah Cash’s plea deal called for her to testify against her husband, but she refused, saying they had a strained professional and marital relationship when she pleaded guilty in 2016. She claimed not to have understood her plea was to violating the RICO Act, but that she meant to plead guilty to not paying sales tax money on time.

Deborah Cash testified she thought the business could have caught up on its tax debt had the state not conducted its raid.

Jurors deliberated for two hours before finding Mike Cash Sr. guilty. He did not testify in his trial.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Brett Mizerak said a 2005 bankruptcy and an injury to one of the Cashes’ children left them having “to fight to stay in business.” He claimed the business had two money orders written out to the Georgia Department of Revenue on the day of the raid.

But prosecutors — led by Randy McGinley, who is now the district attorney of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit — said business credit cards were used to fund personal expenses, meaning taxpayers were footing the bill for the Cash family’s lifestyle.

A local banker and financial examiner and special investigator from the state Department of Revenue testified for the prosecution.

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