The former Ryan Township tax collector, who pleaded guilty to failure to turn over to three taxing bodies more than $360,000 in tax monies collected during the period of 2009-2010, was sentenced Wednesday afternoon in the Schuylkill County Court to serve a long term in a state prison.

William G. Wildoner, 73, of 689 Barnesville Drive, Barnesville, was sentenced by Judge Jacqueline Russell to serve 18 to 60 months and make restitution of $171,145.86 to Mahanoy Area School District or its bonding company, $166,609.24 to Schuylkill County or its bonding company, and $39,572.94 to Ryan Township or its bonding company.

County Treasurer Jacqueline McGovern said the bonding companies have settled claims with the taxing bodies.

Wildoner was taken from the courtroom by sheriff deputies to the county prison across the street from the courthouse where he will be held until arrangements are made to transport him to a state facility.

Wildoner entered a guilty plea last Oct. 17 to three counts of theft by failure to make required deposit of funds but withdrew it when he learned his sentence was to be before Christmas. After the holiday, he waived trial and pleaded guilty again. The charges were lodged against him by Trooper Bernard Walasavage of the Schuylkill Haven barracks.

The thefts came to light when he failed to report tax monies collected for the school district, county and township. Police interviewed him at the Schuylkill Haven Barracks back in June, 2011 after making the arrest.

The police report to court states he admitted to taking tax payments starting in the year of 2009 and also for the year of 2010. The monies taken were in the form of cash or checks written out by homeowners, and instead of turning the money over to the proper taxing bodies, he used it for personal expenses including medical bills, prescription bills, and gambled a great deal of the funds at casinos.

He was in the process of attempting to pay back the money, but was always short and behind, which led to an investigation by McGovern when she noted the returns to the county were falling behind and brought in police. After his arrest Wildoner was very cooperative giving statements detailing his actions.