Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The Rev. Vincent Navorro Meekins Jr., former pastor at Small Memorial AME Zion Church in York, pleaded guilty on December 20, 2009 to stealing nearly $18,000 from the church in April.

Meekins, 55 and now living in Norfolk, Va., was sentenced to five years probation after entering his plea in York County Common Pleas Court for failing to make required disposition of funds received. He faced a maximum sentence of seven years in prison for the third-degree felony.
Three months after Meekins was not reassigned to the city church, elders uncovered the theft of insurance funds meant to repair the church roof which had been damaged in February. The discovery came when a bank informed them of a $126 overdraft in a previously unknown and unauthorized church bank account.
Upon contacting the insurance company, they learned Meekins already had filed a claim, met with inspectors and adjusters and deposited the $17,955 insurance check into a new bank account in the church's name, according to the complaint.
York City Police detectives determined Meekins opened the account with himself as the sole signer. An audit of the account's monthly statements showed the insurance deposit on April 27 followed by numerous withdrawals in May and June, leading to the overdraft.
Monday, Meekins was ordered to make restitution of $17,955 to the church's insurance carrier. His probation will be transferred to Virginia and is to become non-reporting probation when the restitution is paid in full.

As of Monday afternoon, the York County Clerk of Courts office had no record of any restitution being paid in the case.
Meekins had remained free on $20,000 unsecured bail since his arrest in September.

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