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Justice News

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Former Wisconsin Resident Sentenced in Federal Court for Defrauding Charity Based in Union Grove, WI

United States Attorney James L. Santelle, of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on March 11, 2014, Michael Wayne Lowstetter (age: 35) of Xenia, Ohio (formerly of Union Grove, Wisconsin) was sentenced to 30 months in a federal prison by United States District Judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr.  Lowstetter had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341.   The District Judge also imposed a term of three years’ supervised release, to follow the term of imprisonment, and a special assessment of $200.

According to the plea agreement and other documents filed with the court, Lowstetter defrauded Shepherds Baptist Ministries of more than $400,000 during the 2009-2012 time frame by using his position as Vice President for Finance to divert funds to himself.   Shepherds Baptist Ministries is a faith-based organization headquartered in Union Grove, Wisconsin.  It provides vocational training and other services to individuals with intellectual disabilities.

In addition to the above term of imprisonment, Lowstetter will be required to pay restitution in the amount of $453,737.12 to Sheperds and its insurer.   In sentencing the defendant, Judge Clevert noted that the “ripple effects” of his crime, which involved a betrayal of trust, would continue to be felt by Sheperds Ministries and its clients and donors, and by Lowstetter’s family.  He also noted that, even in a case where the defendant accepts responsibility and has suffered on account of his actions, it is important that others be deterred from engaging in financial fraud by the imposition of a sentence of imprisonment.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan H. Koenig.

Updated January 29, 2015