Pastor Caught Masterminding $900k Fraud
(TargetLiberty.org) – In September, authorities arrested Dr. Charles J. Southall III, a pastor at First Emmanuel Baptist Church (FEBC) in New Orleans. Federal prosecutors charged him with money laundering. Just weeks later, the alleged criminal entered a plea in the case.
On October 18, Southall went before US District Judge Jay Zainey and pleaded guilty to a one-count bill of information with money laundering. The 64-year-old pastor has led the church since 1989, but authorities say he was doing more than just preaching. According to the Department of Justice, the executive pastor oversaw churches in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The religious organization also owns real estate and provides low-income housing to people in the Big Easy. He also ran a charitable organization and solicited donations for it.
Dr. Charles J. Southall, III Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering and Admits to Obtaining Over $889,000 Through Fraud https://t.co/fh5uEk46Ao
— U.S. Attorney EDLA (@EDLAnews) October 18, 2022
During his time, Southall received a salary and monetary gifts from the church congregation. He defrauded both FEBC and its members in multiple ways. Ultimately, he was able to steal more than $889,000.
Southall has agreed to pay restitution totaling $889,565.86. He faces up to 10 years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines, and a fee of $100. The judge will sentence the pastor on January 17, 2023.
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