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Justice News

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Former Church Pastor Indicted for Theft of Over $200,000 in Social Security Funds

United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that OTHO SCHILLING (“SCHILLING”), age 58, of Mt. Hermon, Louisiana, was indicted today by a federal grand jury for Theft of Government Funds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641.

According to the indictment, SCHILLING, while the pastor of a church in Bush, LA between 2005-2016,  required the church to pay his personal expenses, such as his health and car insurance premiums, car payments, and personal land note in lieu of the church paying him a salary directly. During this period, SCHILLING was receiving Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (“RSDI”) from the Social Security Administration in the amount of $1,728 a month.  SCHILLING concealed both his earnings and employment from the Social Security Administration.   Accordingly, SCHILLING fraudulently received over $200,000.00 in RSDI benefits he was not entitled to due to his employment with the church.

U. S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, SCHILLING 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.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Fraud Unit Chief, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.

Updated February 16, 2018