An Illinois pastor at a Chicago church has been indicted on charges of stealing over $800,000 of money that was designated for a food program to help needy children. The 45-year-old man had previously been charged with fraud for taking $100,000 from an elderly man in 2011.
The pastor ran a daycare at a local church, which received funding from the Illinois State Board of Education’s Child and Adult Care Food Program. These funds were intended to provide meals and snacks over the summer to children at the daycare. Authorities launched an investigation after finding the pastor owed the program $3.3 million. The pastor and church have been barred from participating in the program in the future.
Those who lived in the neighborhood were thrilled when the church offered the daycare and food program to the community, hoping it would do the impoverished area some good. However, many became suspicious when the pastor began wearing Jordan shoes and driving a $142,000 Bentley. The court records allege that the pastor received the funds from the state and deposited them into his account to buy the items. No background check is required in Illinois to receive food funding. The man did sign a certified statement stating that the funds would not be misused.
The widespread use of technology in both personal and business matters has made it easier to commit certain white-collar crimes. Lawmakers have responded by imposing strict penalties that may include fines, prison sentences and more. No matter the accusation, all defendants are entitled to representation by an attorney who can help ensure their rights are not violated.