DeKalb County

Former mayor asks judge if he can serve sentence from home after stealing COVID-19 funds

STONECREST, Ga. — The former mayor of Stonecrest who pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges is making a punishment request.

Jason Lary stole more than $650,000 in COVID-19 relief funds meant to help the people of Stonecrest, whom he was supposed to serve. Instead, prosecutors said he used the money to cover his own tax liabilities and pay off the mortgage on his lake house.

This week, Lary has asked a judge if he can serve his sentence from home.

Lary faces up to 35 years in prison. His attorneys say he has no criminal history, and he has health problems.

In January, Lary pleaded guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal program theft and federal program theft. He also resigned as the city’s mayor.


Federal prosecutors said that in addition to paying off personal debt, Lary conducted a scheme where he asked small businesses and churches to whom he allocated grants to give 25% of the money to companies connected to himself and co-conspirators.

One of the grants was to his church, which he awarded $150,000. He then asked the church to give $50,000 back to one of the companies included in the scheme.

Lary previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, but his attorney, Dwight Thomas, indicated on Nov. 10 that he would take a plea deal.

His sentencing is set for Wednesday.