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Kentucky pastor pleads guilty in tax case

Pastor Larry bought himself a Porsche and played the ponies with church funds.

As Blender Holly says, here’s another pious crook for the Conservative Values Monitor. (Cincinnati Enquirer):

The Rev. Larry Davis pleaded guilty this morning that he lied on a loan application and didn’t pay his federal income taxes in 2003. Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church of Cold Spring, faces 24 to 30 months in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Bunning on Feb. 17.

…It is unclear if Davis will continue to be pastor of First Baptist. However, he led church members during their Wednesday evening prayer service.

As part of the plea agreement, Davis pleaded guilty to making false statements in connection with a loan application and one count of income-tax evasion. Federal prosecutors dropped three counts of tax evasion and two counts of interstate transportation of stolen funds in exchange for the plea.

Darryl Neltner, the former treasurer of First Baptist, was among the half-dozen people who attended the court hearing. The federal investigation was launched after Neltner wrote a letter to law enforcement officials in January 2004 questioning how Davis handled church money.

So here’s the fun Pastor Larry had with the flock’s dough:

* He ran up $40,000 of debit card transactions from church accounts.
* $7,400 of that money was withdrawn at horse race tracks.
* Davis set up an account in the church’s name of which congregation members were not aware.
* Davis purchased a Porsche with church money.
* Pastor Larry drew down hundreds of thousands of dollars for his personal use from building accounts – and even withdrew money at racetracks.
* When church trustees set up a $3.5 million construction loan, Davis forged documents claiming that the church authorized a loan of $4 million — and skimmed the difference for himself.
* Over a three-year period the indictment states he either grossly underreported income or did not file an IRS return at all.

It’s nice to know that Larry’s showing moral leadership like this to his parishioners. And now he’ll have some large, buff inmates to minister to in the future.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding