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Press Release

Former Office Manager Pleads Guilty To Stealing Over $150,000 From Church

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Processed and Kept Pay Checks for Himself Even Though His Salary Was Directly Deposited Into His Personal Bank Account

            WASHINGTON – Barry Tillman, 59, who worked as the office manager for a church and its affiliated non-profit organization,  pled guilty today to a federal charge stemming from a scheme in which he embezzled over $150,000, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Tillman, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to wire fraud in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Tillman potentially faces up to 27 months in prison and a fine of up to $95,000. He also has agreed to pay a total of $153,754 in restitution. The Honorable Rudolph Contreras scheduled sentencing for July 13, 2016.

            According to the government’s evidence, Tillman began work in 2008 as an office manager for the Wisconsin Avenue Baptist Church, as well as City Gate, an affiliated non-profit organization that provided support for youth through after-school and summer educational programs. The organization also provided support to low-income families by supplying meals and job training. Tillman’s responsibilities included bookkeeping and accounting duties.

            From January 2009 through May 2013, Tillman processed salary payments to himself through both direct deposit and salary checks. He allowed the direct deposits knowing that he was receiving his salary by check, which resulted in him being paid twice. He kept a total of $153,754 of these electronic transfers for himself for his own use and benefit.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the case, including Criminal Investigator Juan Juarez of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by Criminal Investigator Stephen Cohen, Paralegal Specialist Jessica Mundi, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Jarrett, all of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Finally, he acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa A. Howie, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated April 20, 2016

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 16-069