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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Treasurer of Hannibal Church Sentenced for Wire Fraud

St. Louis, MO – Donald Ray White, 69, Hannibal, MO, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $289,412.02 for embezzling monies from Antioch Baptist Church of Hannibal in which he was the treasurer in a scheme that lasted over two decades.   

As treasurer of Antioch Baptist Church of Hannibal, White independently oversaw the church’s bank account.  In this role, White was an authorized signatory on the bank account, made the majority of all deposits into the checking account, and was required to submit payments on behalf of the church. White was not entitled to a salary or payment for his services to the church. Investigation confirmed that while serving as treasurer, White fraudulently used the bank’s checking account to issue checks to himself and to make purchases on his behalf and the behalf of others.

Donald Ray White pleaded guilty in federal court to one felony count of wire fraud on January 4, 2019, and was sentenced today.

“Today’s sentence is the culmination of hard work and focused dedication by the Ralls County Sheriff’s Office and Hannibal Police Department,” said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen.

After the sentence, Ralls County Sheriff Gerry Dinwiddie echoed U.S. Attorney Jensen’s comments.  He also recognized the members of the Antioch Baptist Church of Hannibal.  “The strength of this church community and its members has been exemplary.  They were absolutely critical in uncovering this fraud and have worked tirelessly to not let it define or diminish the church or themselves.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case along with the Ralls County Sheriff’s Department, the Hannibal Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.  This case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Dianna R. Collins.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated May 1, 2019