Thursday, September 15, 2005
Longtime Pastor Of Queens Church Sentenced For Theft
NEW YORK -- The former long-time pastor of a Queens church was ordered to repay more than $31,000 in stolen church funds, which he used to pay for personal luxuries.
Rev. Charles Betts, who currently resides in Brandon, Fla., had served as pastor of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, in Jamaica, Queens, for more than 30 years, from 1971 until his resignation in January, 2003, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Betts pleaded guilty on July 20 to grand larceny in the third degree and was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to pay full restitution to the church.
An investigation began in January 2003 when the church received a bank card in the name of Anna Kilpatrick, the pastor's former administrative assistant. The church conducted an audit and called the district attorney's Economic Crimes Bureau.
Anna and Barry Kilpatrick, a married couple from Freeport, Long Island, were also charged in the scheme. The Kilpatricks are awaiting trial on charges of grand larceny in the second degree and falsifying business records in the first degree. Their next court date is Nov. 7 in Queens Supreme Court.
See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.