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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 26, 2018

Bogalusa Church Pastor Pleads Guilty to Theft of Over $90,000 in Social Security Disability Funds

U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that JERRY R. NEWTON, age 54, of Slidell, Louisiana pleaded guilty to a one count Bill of Information charging Theft of Government Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. 

According to the Bill of Information, NEWTON applied for Social Security disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act.  A person receiving disability benefits must truthfully disclose to the Social Security Administration any employment or income while getting the government money.  In forms submitted to the SSA, NEWTON failed to disclose that he was the paid pastor of Bogalusa Baptist Church since May of 2007 and that he owned two businesses, Still Dreaming Graphics, LLC and Kclean Sweep, a cleaning service.  Due to his concealing of his salary and income produced from his businesses, NEWTON received a total of $95,316 in DIB benefits to which he was not entitled.

NEWTON faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a mandatory $100 special assessment, as well as restitution to the Social Security Administration.

A sentencing hearing is set for October 25, 2018 before United States District Court Judge Jane Triche Milazzo.  U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Carter K. D. Guice, Jr. is in charge of the prosecution.

 

Updated July 26, 2018