Pastor Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud For Stealing Funds From Huntersville Area Church And Affiliated School
Wade Malloy, 62, of Stanley, N.C., and former pastor of a Huntersville area church, appeared in court today and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, for stealing money from the church and its affiliated parochial school, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Rose is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Cleveland L. Spruill of the Huntersville Police Department.
According to filed court documents and today’s plea hearing, from about 2000 to about August 2014, Malloy conspired with Wayne C. Parker, Jr. (Parker) to execute a scheme to defraud Malloy’s employer, a church (Church) and its affiliated parochial school (School), both located in Huntersville, of between $500,000 and $1,000,000, by embezzling Church and School bank funds to pay for Malloy’s personal expenses.
According to court records, Malloy and others founded the Church in 1991. Malloy became the Church’s first pastor and served in that capacity until 2014. Among other responsibilities as pastor, Malloy was responsible for overseeing the operation and finances of the Church. Court records show that the School was founded in 1994 by Malloy and other members of the Church. Upon Malloy’s recommendation, the Church hired Parker as Headmaster and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the School in 1996. As CFO, Parker had control over the School’s and Church’s finances and bank accounts.
According to court records, beginning in 2000 and until 2014, Malloy, with Parker’s help, began embezzling School and Church bank funds. Court records indicate that Malloy had Parker issue additional paychecks to Malloy above and beyond what he was entitled to by the terms of his employment. As the scheme progressed overtime, in addition to the extra salary checks, Malloy had Parker used Church and School funds to pay for Malloy’s personal expenses that included, among other things, college tuition, medical bills, cars, and credit card bills.
Malloy entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer. He was released on bond after the hearing. The penalty for the wire fraud charge carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Malloy has agreed to pay restitution, the amount of which will be determined by the Court at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set yet.
Parker was sentenced on November 30, 2016, to 60 months in prison for his role in the embezzlement scheme. He was also ordered to serve three years under court supervision upon completion of his prison term and to pay $6,606,463 as restitution.
The investigation was led by the FBI and the Huntersville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Zolot, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, is prosecuting the case.