Ex-Swaggart Employee Pleads Guilty
Jul. 08, 2000
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ A former fund-raiser for Jimmy Swaggart Ministries admitted spending $769,000 of the ministry's money on women around the country last year.
John J. Clouser, 34, who earned $30,000 as the ministry's director of development and planned giving, pleaded guilty Friday in state court to money laundering and bank fraud.
Prosecutors agreed to recommend a 20-year cap on Clouser's prison time when state District Judge Bonnie Jackson sentences him in September.
His expenditures included World Series tickets, moving expenses and rent for one woman, and a sport utility vehicle for another, said prosecutor Mark Pethke.
Clouser already has been sentenced in federal court to 57 months in prison and ordered to repay Swaggart Ministries $841,563, including interest, after pleading guilty to one count of money laundering, assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Hipwell said.
Clouser's lawyer, Francis Rougeou, said he hopes Swaggart Ministries can forgive his client.
``This has certainly put his former bosses' Christian beliefs to the test,'' Rougeou said.