Evangelical minister admits to stealing church money
GRETNA, La. (AP) — An evangelical minister in Louisiana has admitted to pocketing church funds through forged checks made out to himself and an unauthorized online account.
NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports 61-year-old Joseph R. Alexander of Gretna pleaded guilty Wednesday to bank fraud. Federal prosecutors plan to drop 15 additional bank-fraud charges due to the guilty plea.
Alexander was accused of stealing around $321,000 from the bank account of Franklin Street Church of Christ, where he ministered for about eight years. Prosecutors say Alexander concealed the theft by forging signatures on checks to himself, logging fake vendors in the church’s checkbook register and opening a secret online bank account. Alexander spent the money on several things, including family vacations and his mortgage.
Court records show Alexander is set to be sentenced in April.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com