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November 15, 2011

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas announced that Scott Keith Voss, 43, of Jonesboro, Arkansas, has pled guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of willful failure to pay over tax. Voss faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison and a fine of $1,250,000 when he is sentenced.

Voss, who served as Pastor and president of First Pentecostal Church of Jonesboro, pled guilty to a two count Information filed for the hearing. The information states that from September 2007 until June 26, 2010, Voss devised a scheme to defraud the First Bank of Owasso. As part of the scheme, Voss applied for a loan from the First Bank of Owasso, pledging as collateral the Jonesboro Worship Center real estate. Voss, it states, failed to obtain appropriate Board of Directors' authorization to so encumber the church real estate. The information charges that Voss used the funds to retire previous unauthorized loans, for his own personal use and to obtain additional funds for expenditures not approved by the Board of Directors of the Jonesboro Worship Center.

Additionally, the information charges that from 2006 through 2010, First Pentecostal Church of Jonesboro withheld tax payments from its employees' paychecks. However, through this same period, the church failed to make any payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of these withholdings. The information states that Voss was the person responsible for the collection and pay over of the church's payroll taxes.

As part of his plea agreement, Voss agreed to an entry of an order of restitution to the First Bank of Owasso of $450,000 and to the IRS of $148,564.94.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Vena prosecuted this case for the United States.

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Christopher R. Thyer

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