June 19-- Corey Megill Brown, 47, the former Pastor of Second African Baptist Church in Savannah, was sentenced by District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to 28 months in prison for defrauding his former church and its parishioners of money for over 6 years. In addition to his prison sentence, Brown was also ordered to pay the Second African Baptist Church $178,140 in restitution. After serving his prison sentence, Brown will be on federal supervised release for 3 years. There is no parole in the federal system.
Brown pled guilty late last year to mail fraud. The evidence presented at Brown’s guilty plea and the sentencing hearings revealed that from 2008 to February 2014, Brown intercepted checks and others moneys sent to the church as tithes and offerings; then deposited the stolen money into an account that only he controlled and that other church leaders did not know existed. Brown opened his shadow bank account under the name “Romans 12 Ministries.” Brown used the stolen tithes and offerings for his own benefit, by withdrawing cash; by writing checks to himself that were deposited in his personal bank accounts; and, by using the debit card tied to the shadow account to make purchases from such places as leather goods stores and lingerie shops.
Acting United States Attorney Durham said, “Brown’s parishioners thought they were offering their hard earned savings so their church could do good works. Little did they know, Brown’s idea of good work was to line his own pockets. Whether you’re an attorney or accountant, a physician or pastor, if you steal from the good folks that trust you the most, then you’ll next serve time at a federal prison.”