Financial Scams


Another Pastor Is Caught In A Financial Scam

A former pastor pleaded no contest Tuesday to charges he bilked his congregation out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through a pyramid scheme.

W. Michael Altman, 48, entered the plea to more than 100 criminal charges, including 45 counts of theft by deception and 42 counts of violating Pennsylvania securities laws. Under the deal, Altman will be banned from preaching or conducting ministerial duties. Prosecutor Russ Bowman said the former pastor of Grace Christian Ministries in suburban West Mifflin masterminded the scheme in which dozens of people lost more than $350,000. Some of the money was used to install a hot tub and pool at the parsonage where Altman lived and to pay for his credit card bills, tax debts and vacations.

Altman accepted the prosecution's recommendation that he be sentenced to four to eight years in prison. By pleading no contest, Altman did not admit guilt but acknowledged the state may have enough evidence to convict him. Altman's attorney, Sumner Parker, said he wasn't solely to blame. Parker said church board members should have kept a closer eye on checks written to the pastor. (Las Vegas Sun, 4-09-2002, www)

There are too many con-artists in the religious biz. Most are never caught and the few who do usually have a lame excuse. This spiritual bastard thinks he wouldn't have embezled the money if the church board would have kept a close watch of him. The lame board should have kept a few dozen eyes on this crook, but that doesn't excuse his crime.

Look for many more crooks to be caught ripping off brain-dead sheep.


"What is more unwise than to mistake uncertainty for certainty, falsehood for truth?" Cicero, Roman orator, statesman and philosopher (106-43 B.C.)

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