Bogalusa Church Pastor Sentenced for Theft of Over $90,000 in Social Security Disability Funds
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced yesterday that JERRY R. NEWTON, age 54 of Slidell, Louisiana was sentenced after pleading 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 documents filed in court, 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 concealment of his salary and income produced from his businesses, NEWTON received a total of $95,316 in disability benefits to which he was not entitled.
NEWTON was sentenced by United States District Judge Barry Ashe to 3 years probation, 1 year home confinement and restitution of $95,315.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. The case is handled by Assistant United States Attorney Carter K.D. Guice Jr.
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