On Thursday, April 26, 2018, it was announced that a Bogalusa church pastor had been charged with theft of government funds. 54-year-old Jerry R. Newton of Slidell, Louisiana was charged on Wednesday. According to the Bill of Information, the defendant applied for Social Security disability benefits. Those receiving disability benefits are required to truthfully disclose any employment or income while receiving government money.
Newton failed to disclose that he was a paid pastor for the Bogalusa Baptist Church since May of 2007. He also owned two businesses, Dreaming Graphics LLC and Kclean Sweep. As a result of the defendant’s actions, he allegedly received $95,316 in disability benefits that he was not entitled to. At this point in time, the defendant remains innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If convicted, Newton would face a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Further details can be found here.