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Ex-Houston minister gets 10 years in prison, embezzled $800K

June 10, 2019
Former minister Jerrell Altic is seen in an undated photo provided by the Harris County District Attorney's office. Altic was sentenced to ten years in prison Monday, June 10, 2019 for stealing more than $800,000 from Houston First Baptist Church, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced. (Houston Chronicle via AP)
Former minister Jerrell Altic is seen in an undated photo provided by the Harris County District Attorney's office. Altic was sentenced to ten years in prison Monday, June 10, 2019 for stealing more than $800,000 from Houston First Baptist Church, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced. (Houston Chronicle via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — A former minister in Houston has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to what prosecutors call the theft of more than $800,000 from First Baptist Church.

Authorities say Jerrell Altic was sentenced Monday in Houston in a plea deal over embezzlement during a six-year period. Church officials in 2017 noticed suspicious financial activity and confronted Altic, who resigned.

Altic was indicted in December on a felony theft count.

Authorities say the 40-year-old Altic used forgery and other deceptive practices to steal church money and live a lavish lifestyle. Altic took his family on overseas trips, bought personal items and spent stolen funds to earn a divinity doctorate from Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania.

First Baptist Church, which has tightened financial oversight, had insurance that reimbursed $500,000.

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