Saturday, December 10, 2016

Iredell man sentenced in $9 million embezzlement from Christian school

A Mooresville man will spend five years in a federal prison for taking $9 million from a Huntersville school and its affiliated church for his own personal use.

Wayne C. Parker Jr., 57, was found guilty this week of embezzlement by U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr., according to a press release from the office of Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Parker was sentenced to 60 months in prison, along with three months of supervised probation.

Parker must also pay $6 million in restitution in addition to the $3 million he’s already paid back, the release said.

For about 14 years, Parker took the money from bank funds at the church and school, which has been identified in past media reports as Southlake Christian Academy.

Parker used the money for personal bills, a boat, gold and silver coins and a $1.2 million lake house.

To pay for the house, Parker made all of the employees take a 5 percent pay cut, which he claimed was due to the economy, the release said.

Parker opened about 29 checking accounts, used six credit cards, took out seven loans and created nine limited liability companies to try and hide his scheme. He also made up a false, fictitious report from an accounting firm to show the school had been audited and used an unqualified letter to indicate it had a clean financial bill of health.

To further hide his crime after a church leader became suspicious and called for an independent audit, Parker destroyed school financial records and sold a house he built with the stolen money to one of his children, the release said.

The investigation was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Huntersville Police Department.

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