Connoquenessing Resident Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison for $1.67 Million Embezzlement and Filing False Tax Returns
DUBLIN, GA: A former Dublin, Ga., resident is being sought internationally on multiple federal charges alleging he orchestrated a scheme that misdirected more than $30 million donated for Christian ministry in China.
Jason Gerald Shenk, 45, is charged in a newly unsealed federal indictment with four counts of Wire Fraud; three counts of International Concealment Money Laundering; 13 counts of Concealment Money Laundering; 21 counts of Money Laundering Involving Transactions Greater than $10,000; and one count of Failure to File Report of Foreign Bank Account, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Conviction on the charges would subject Shenk to statutory penalties of up to 20 years in prison, forfeiture of any property involved in or traceable to the offenses, substantial financial penalties, and a period of supervised release upon completion of any prison sentence.
There is no parole in the federal system.
Warrants have been issued for Shenk’s arrest. He is considered innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
“When people of faith donate money for evangelistic purposes, they reasonably expect those who solicit their donations to act as faithful stewards of those funds,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “This case alleges an egregious breach of that trust at the expense of multiple charities and individual donors.”
As spelled out in the indictment, Shenk is alleged to have planned and executed a scheme in which he obtained more than $30 million from faith-based charities and individual donors, primarily from religious communities in Ohio and North Carolina, based on his promises that he would use the funds for producing and distributing Bibles and Christian literature in the People’s Republic of China.
Instead, the indictment alleges Shenk converted a significant amount of the funds to his own use, including:
Payments of approximately $1 million to an online sports gambling website;
• Purchases of equity shares of approximately $850,000 in a privately held nuclear energy company;
• Approximately $4 million in purchases of at least 16 life insurance policies in various people’s names;
• Purchases of diamonds, gold, and precious metals in amounts totaling approximately $1 million;
• Purchases of domestic and foreign stocks totaling more than $188,000;
• Payments of approximately $7 million to the company running Shenk’s family farm;
• Purchases on at least 10 personal credit cards totaling more than $820,000; and,
• Purchases of $320,000 in real estate in the “Galt’s Gulch” development in Santiago, Chile.
The indictment alleges Shenk obtained approximately $22 million from one charitable organization and its donors, and approximately $10 million from another charity and its donors, along with other donations from individuals. The funds were directed to a variety of shell corporations as a result of Shenk’s claims to those religious communities that he was a missionary dedicated to various Christian mission projects around the world and would use the funding to produce and distribute Bibles and Christian literature in China.
Companies that served as conduits for these donations included Morning Star Ministries, with a bank account in Dublin, Ga.; Connect Connect Asia BV, with multiple bank accounts in Singapore; CLF Asia Limited, owner of a bank account in Hong Kong; Autumnvale Group Limited, owner of multiple bank accounts in Singapore; BCB International LLC, an entity registered in Georgia with bank accounts in the United States; Heartland Plantations LLC, an entity registered in Georgia with bank accounts in the United States; Global Paradigm LTD, an entity associated with bank accounts in the United States; and Shenkland LLC, an entity registered in North Carolina and owner of bank accounts in the United States.
The indictment alleges Shenk perpetrated the scheme from as early as April 2010 until July 2019, and that Shenk renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2016 to avoid financial reporting requirements under federal law.
If you believe you sent money directly or indirectly to Jason Gerald Shenk or one of the entities listed in the indictment for charitable purposes, please contact federal authorities at 478-752-6810. In addition, if you have information regarding the whereabouts of Jason Gerald Shenk, please contact federal authorities at this same number.
The case is being investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and prosecuted for the United States of America by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew A. Josephson.