9.23.2005

Judas Priest's 'Trust Me, I'm a Minister'

Ex-Minister Sentenced for Bogus Tax Filings

from PittsburghLive

A former Methodist minister who stole money from a dying church member and his estate was sentenced Wednesday to 13 months in prison for federal income tax evasion.

Jack F. Emerick, 67, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Harrison from 1981 through 2002, remains free on bond. He declined comment as he left the courtroom.

"As a church member who wondered if this day would ever come, it's good to see him face the consequences of his criminal activity and to hear the judge call him a convicted felon," said Carl Johnson, who served on the church council when Emerick retired and lost his pastoral credentials.

Emerick was convicted of filing false income tax returns in 2002 and 2003, but the court found he stole about $135,000 from James Blackhall, a church member and the pastor's close friend, and later from his estate.

Emerick, who also was sentenced to one-year probation and a $200 fine, could have faced up to six years in prison and a $200,000 fine.

Emerick's supporters, including parishioners, and his detractors, including former colleagues, sent numerous letters to the court praising or denouncing his character.

"One characterized the defendant as diabolical," the judge said.

The Harrison church had decided not to file a lawsuit against Emerick to avoid distracting from its ministry and drawing unwanted attention.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Bradley Soucie said...

What it could be useful for?

November 28, 2005 8:24 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

What could what be used for? Money? Anything!

November 28, 2005 3:45 PM  

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