Black Collar Crime: Baptist Pastor Jerry Newton Accused of Theft

pastor jerry newton

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Jerry Newton, pastor of Greater Bogalusa Full Gospel Baptist Church in Bogalusa, Louisiana, faces federal charges stemming from his alleged theft of Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits. People receiving SSDI must be totally disabled and meet certain income guidelines. Newton failed to disclose to the Social Security Administration that he had a job and owned two businesses. The Times-Picuayune reports Newton collected $95,316 in impermissible benefits.

The U.S. Deportment of Justice — Eastern District of Lousiana, released the following statement:

U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that JERRY R. NEWTON, age 54, of Slidell, Louisiana was charged yesterday by a Bill of Information for Theft of Government Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.

According to the Bill of Information, NEWTON applied for Social Security disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act.  A person receiving disability benefits must truthfully disclose to the Social Security Administration any employment or income while getting the government money.  In forms submitted to the SSA, NEWTON failed to disclose that he was the paid pastor of Bogalusa Baptist Church since May of 2007 and that he owned two businesses, Still Dreaming Graphics, LLC and Kclean Sweep, a cleaning service.  Due to his concealing of his salary and income produced from his businesses, NEWTON received a total of $95,316 in DIB benefits to which he was not entitled.

U. S. Attorney Evans reiterated that a Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, NEWTON faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a mandatory $100 special assessment, as well as restitution to the Social Security Administration

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Carter K. D. Guice, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorney.

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