Skip to main content
Press Release

Memphis Pastor Pleads Guilty To Theft Of Government Funds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – Craig Wilson, 45, of Memphis, TN, pleaded guilty yesterday to assisting others in stealing United States Department of Treasury funds through the filing of false income tax returns, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641, announced Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

According to facts revealed in the criminal information and recited during the plea, between November 1, 2011 and August 30, 2012, Craig Wilson, while in his position as pastor of New Beginnings Church, assisted other individuals in stealing approximately $168,000 in funds administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the form of federal income tax refunds. The U.S. Treasury tax refund checks were deposited into bank accounts controlled by Pastor Wilson and other individuals in connection with numerous fraudulent tax returns filed by associates of Wilson.

Wilson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal prison system. Sentencing is scheduled for October 28, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. before United States District Judge S. Thomas Anderson.

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigative Division and the United States Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hall on behalf of the government.

Updated March 19, 2015