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Oklahoma pastor sentenced to prison for nearly $1 million fraud

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TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma pastor accused of fraudulently using nearly $1 million of church and community center money was sentenced to prison.

Reverend Willard Jones was the pastor of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church and founder of the Greater Cornerstone Community Development Project.

In October, he pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return.

Jones admitted that he misappropriated approximately $933,000 from the Greater Cornerstone Community Development Project.

Jones allegedly solicited monetary contributions from donors, including foundations, corporations, churches and individuals, to fund the development project.

As part of the scheme, officials say Jones fraudulently transferred funds from community center bank accounts to church bank accounts and then transferred those funds into personal bank accounts.

Jones admitted to using the money on personal expenses and luxury items, including hotels, gambling, liquor, automobiles, and jewelry.

As part of the plea, Jones will forfeit his residence, a Rolex watch and fur coat.

The court ordered Jones to pay restitution in the amount of $933,507.80 to the community center and $155,112 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Jones was sentenced in federal court Monday to 37 months in prison, then three years of supervision upon his release.

 

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