The Government Accuses A Tulsa Pastor Of Embezzling More Than $900,000
Churchgoers instill a lot of faith in their pastors. So when a man of the cloth is playing games, it’s newsworthy. One pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been accused of abusing his congregation’s trust to the tune of a staggering $900,000 or more.
Sixty-three-year-old Pastor Willard Lenord Jones of the Greater Cornerstone Church was charged with three counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return, reports News On 6. He is also the executive director of the Greater Cornerstone Community Development Project, which offers such social services as food aid, clothing and health services. He’s being accused of embezzling the money.
According to court papers, in his capacity of executive director, Jones collected millions of dollars in donations for the center but diverted $933,507.80 for personal use. Jones began embezzling funds way back in 2007, transferring money from community center bank accounts to church bank accounts and transferring the money into his personal bank accounts, says the indictment. Jones is also accused of withdrawing huge sums of money from the church bank accounts to spend on himself, the construction of his home as well as such luxury goods as hotels, restaurants, casinos, cars and liquor.
Like this isn’t enough, it is charged that Jones also filed a false income tax return for 2011, failing to report $390,061 in income.
The indictment gave a breakdown of the dates and amounts of money spent: August 29, 2011: $6,201; September 6, 2011: $13,710; and October 5, 2011: $5,911.
If found guilty, the pastor could spend up to 20 years on each of the wire fraud charges and three years for filing a false tax return. He would have to forfeit his home, a Rolex 36MM watch, and a mahogany mink full-length fur coat with a “J J Jones” monogram with matching hat and gloves.
It seems like Jones didn’t believe in the vow of poverty.