Black Collar Crime

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Juan Rocha Burns Woman to Death

pastor juan rochaAssemblies of God pastor Juan Rocha stands accused of starving, beating, and burning a woman to death because he believed she was possessed by the devil.

The Telegraph reports:

A Nicaraguan woman who was burned to death in an exorcism that caused worldwide shock was starved and beaten in the week before her killing, witnesses told a court on Wednesday.

Evangelical pastor Juan Rocha and four followers are accused of murdering Vilma Trujillo, a 25-year-old mother of two, because they believed she was possessed by the devil.

On the second day of their trial, which is being carried live on Nicaraguan television, Trujillo’s relatives told the court how Rocha had his followers bound her, beat her, and refused her food, water and visitors.

“He told us not to feel any love for her, because that was just the devil, that she had to be burned until only her head was left,” the victim’s cousin Roberto Trujillo told the court in the capital, Managua.

“They wouldn’t let me near her. Pastor Juan Rocha told us not to pay any attention to her because she was possessed by a demon,” said her sister Marlene, who told the court of seeing Trujillo tied to a hammock.

Trujillo was killed in a grisly week-long rite from February 15 to 21 in the isolated village of El Cortezal in northeastern Nicaragua.

Witnesses said she was stripped naked and thrown on a pile of wood that was set alight.

Rocha has reportedly denied that version, saying the woman herself leaped at the fire and was suspended aloft by a malign spirit in her.

Trujillo’s father said Rocha had forbidden him to see his daughter during the ritual.

When he and her cousin went to get her in the small chapel where she was kept, they found her naked and horribly burned after five hours over the fire, they said.

May 2,2017, Rocha and four church members were found guilty of homicide. The Oklahoman reports:

An evangelical pastor and four of his congregants have been found guilty in the death of a 25-year-old woman who was thrown into a fire to drive “demons” from her body.

In a decision handed down late Tuesday, a five-member jury found pastor Juan Gregorio Rocha Romero and the other four guilty of homicide in the death of Vilma Trujillo Garcia. She suffered burns over 80 percent of her body before dying in February.

Judge Alfredo Silva Chamorro noted there were aggravating circumstances, because the woman was tied to a tree trunk and left in the fire for five hours.

Sentencing has been set for May 9. Prosecutors are seeking sentences of up to 36 years in prison, although Nicaragua’s maximum sentence is 30 years.

Rocha Romero had denied wrongdoing, telling the newspaper La Prensa that the woman fell into the fire without anyone pushing her and a demon exited her body

 

 

 

 

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Tommy Newberry Sentenced to Fifteen Years For Sex Crimes

pastor tommy newberry

Last Tuesday, Tommy Newberry, pastor of Red Creek Church of God, Buckatunna,Mississippi pleaded guilty to first degree and second degree sodomy. According to news reports, Newberry sexually assaulted six boys in his church — ages eleven to fifteen.

News 11 reports:

The former pastor at a Wayne County church has pleaded guilty to four felony charges that he sexually abused several underage boys.

Tommy Joe Newberry was sentenced to 15 years in Washington County, Alabama. Newberry was the former pastor at Red Creek Church of God near the Alabama/Mississippi state line. Washington County assistant district attorney Bill McCorquodale tells Newscenter 11 that Newberry was sentenced to 15 years on two felony first degree sodomy charges and 10 years on two felony second degree sodomy charges. Those charges will run concurrently, so he’ll serve a total of 15 years.

Authorities said they believed the sexual abuse occurred over the course of several years, starting as early as 2003. Investigators accused Newberry of abusing at least six underage boys.

Link to original 2015 story

According to the Red Rock Church of God website:

Pastor Newberry and congregation would like to give you a personal invitation to join us in our services. Our Mission Statement: To be Pentecostal in Faith, Holiness in life, and Evangelistic in outreach. To provide spiritaul direction and renewal for our church family and to be recognized in the community as a place where they can find answers to their deepest needs through JESUS CHRIST! Feel free to contact us at xxxxxxxxx or call Pastor Newberry and staff at church.

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Richard Fritz Charged With Embezzlement

richard fritz

Richard Fritz, priest for several Michigan parishes, was charged several weeks ago with embezzling $213,000 from St. Mary’s Assumption in Bronson and St. Barbara Mission in Colon.

The Daily Reporter reports:

St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough has charged Rev. Richard Fritz with embezzlement of more than $ 100,000 from the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo. The information for the 20-year felony said the complaining party was St. Barbara Parish in Colon. He served that parish, as well as St. Mary’s of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson.

Father Fritz was arraigned on the charge April 24 in St. Joseph County District Court booked, fingerprinted, and released on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond. A pre-exam conference is scheduled for Tuesday and a preliminary hearing will be held a week later on May 16, according to computer records.

….

In October 2016 the Diocese of Kalamazoo announced that it had turned over to Michigan State Police findings from an independent forensic audit involving St. Mary’s Assumption parish in Bronson and St. Barbara Parish in Colon, “because of what appeared to be questionable financial transactions and practices at both parishes,” records state.

During a six-year period, the audit raised questions about checks in the amount of more than $213,000, written and cashed by the priest.

….

Father Fritz resigned as pastor at St. Mary’s last October, amidst the investigation.

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest William Dombrow Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

william dombrow

Yesterday, Msgr. William Dombrow, rector of Villa St. Joseph, Darby, Pennsylvania,  pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud. Dombrow embezzled more that $500,000 over a nine year period.

The Inquirer reports:

The rector of a Delaware County retirement home for Philadelphia Archdiocese priests admitted in federal court Thursday that he embezzled more than a half-million dollars from the residence over nearly nine years.

Msgr. William A. Dombrow told U.S. District Judge Gerald J. Pappert that he siphoned funds from a private account set up to support Villa St. Joseph in Darby Borough.  He pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud.

Much of the money that flowed into that account came from life insurance payouts of priests who had died while residing there or bequests from the estates of parishioners.  The facility also houses priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.

….

In addition to paying off gambling debts, the monsignor used the money on $1,000 tickets to Philly Pops concerts, elaborate dinners, and at casinos in Aruba; Key West, Fla.; and the Poconos, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rotella said.

….

Among the money that Dombrow was accused of embezzling was $14,410 left to Villa St. Joseph by the Rev. Francis P. Rogers, against whom numerous sexual-abuse complaints had been lodged prior to his death in 2005. They were spelled out that year in a Philadelphia grand jury report detailing the history of priest sexual abuse throughout the archdiocese.

Dombrow, 77, was ordained in 1970 and served as pastor and parochial vicar in several parishes. A recovering alcoholic, he devoted much of his time to helping other priests with their struggles with addiction. He previously led the Archdiocesan Priests’ Committee on Alcoholism and a center for those seeking help with addiction treatment.

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Black Collar Crime: Pastor Willie Wilkerson Charged With Drug Trafficking

mission church dorchester

Willie Wilkerson, pastor of Mission Church in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, was arrested yesterday on charges of drug trafficking and intent to distribute.

NECN reports:

A Boston pastor is facing charges after police say they recovered crack cocaine, prescription pills, and $20,000 worth of stolen items at his residence and at the church he owns.

Willie Wilkerson, a pastor of Mission Church at 266 Quincy St. in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood, was arrested Tuesday on charges of trafficking and intent to distribute Class B and Class C drugs.

A search warrant was issued for Wilkerson, his home, the church and a Victoria’s Kitchen food trailer he owns, police said. They found drugs hidden inside coffee makers and printers.

A family member said the church and food trailer were previously owned by Wilkerson’s mother and denied the allegations.

“That’s crazy. That’s a lie,” Ivette Mitchell, Wilkerson’s niece said. “God is going to clear Willie from everything and everybody.”

Investigators found crack cocaine, fentanyl, oxycodone, Klonopin, Suboxone, as well as cutting agents and packaging materials, according to the district attorney’s office.

Investigators also found more than $10,000 and a number of stolen items estimated to be worth about $20,000.

A judge at Roxbury Municipal Court ordered Wilkerson to be held without bail for 90 days as a result of violating his probation, and then held on $50,000 bail afterwards. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

Black Collar Crime: Another Victim Comes Forward in Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo Sex Abuse Scandal

pastor mike holloway

Please read previous posts on this scandal: Black Collar Crime: Woman Claims Evangelical Pastor Mike Holloway Knew She Had Been Sexually Abused and Did Nothing and Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Mike Holloway Denies He Knew Anything About Woman’s Sex Abuse Claim.

Another victim has come forward in the ongoing Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo, Indiana sexual abuse scandal.

The Kokomo Perspective reports:

Another woman alleging she was molested by Donald Croddy stepped forward last week. She claims she was encouraged to stay at the Croddy household by Temple Baptist Church Pastor Mike Holloway post 1991.

Jamie, allowing the Perspective to publish her first name, spoke last week after she said she read the account of Dawn Price, who previously alleged she was molested by her father, Donald D. Croddy, at a young age. According to Jamie, now 36 years old and a Kokomo resident, reading Price’s story brought back memories of her own alleged run in with Croddy.

“I saw Don Croddy’s name,” said Jamie. “Everything just kind of hit me. From 1992 to 1994 I was staying at his house on the weekends because the Holloways and (the Croddys) and my mom thought, because I wanted to be a member of the church, they just thought that would be a good way because I would need to be attending church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday afternoon, and any other time they requested me to be there … The Croddys were generous enough to do it. My mom was OK with it because they were a nice church family.”

According to Jamie, while staying with the Croddys off and on for that two-year period, she was allowed to sleep in a small room on the main floor of the Croddy household. She described details about the room – such as its hardwood floor, off-white color, twin bed, and location within the house – in a manner that matched a separate description by Price. It’s these details that Price said struck her, as the pair had not met prior to last week, while Jamie was making a report at the Kokomo Police Department.

….

Jamie said that while she was staying with the Croddys, Price’s father made inappropriate advances on her. This, she said, included forced touching.

“He would forcibly hug me. He would like grab me, and hug me, and smoosh my chest into him,” said Jamie. “He would then lower his hand onto my thigh and butt and not let me go.”

Jamie also alleges Croddy would attempt to walk in on her as she changed at their house.

The situation, Jamie claimed, reached a head when she awoke one night with Price’s father allegedly in the twin bed she slept in at the Croddy household on Judson Road.

“He came in there in the middle of the night,” said Jamie. “I wore nightgowns, you know really long ones that had the buttons. I woke up with his hand in my shirt … and I screamed. He told his wife I just had a nightmare.”

It’s at that point, she said, she requested to meet with Holloway. At the time, she said she would have been between the ages of 12 and 14. According to Jamie, she said she told Holloway and his wife about what allegedly was  going on at the Croddy household.

“I felt uncomfortable. I talked to Mike Holloway and his wife because you were never allowed to talk with him alone [the Billy Graham rule],” said Jamie. “That was just the rule of church. You weren’t supposed to be with boys alone. Matter of fact, you had to sit a Bible length away in a pew from a boy.

“I told them about some of these things because there were also times (Croddy) would open the door when he knew I was getting undressed. I was pretty much told I wasn’t being a good enough Christian.”

Afterward, Jamie said she never told anyone about her experiences, including her then-single mother. After riding the church’s buses to services since 1985, beginning at the age of 5, Jamie said she stopped attending Temple Baptist Church.

….

When asked about Jamie’s experience, the leadership of Temple Baptist Church denied the allegation. Because of Jamie’s decision to withhold her last name, the Perspective could not provide a last name to the church because of the nature of her alleged ordeal.

“Without a last name, we cannot provide facts pertaining to a certain member of the church and what interactions this individual may or may not have had with Pastor Holloway,” said Jim Willoughby, an associate pastor at Temple Baptist Church.

“However, the church can state with absolute certainty that Pastor Holloway never encouraged any children to stay at the Croddy home after accusations made by Price in 1991. Additionally, if any church member – child or adult – were to come to the church and claim inappropriate behavior against them, the claim would receive immediate and thorough review by church leadership, including Pastor Holloway. Temple Baptist Church does not and has never tolerated sexual abuse.”

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You can read the Devin Zimmerman’s latest in depth article here.

Black Collar Crime: Lutheran Pastor Robert Trueblood Charged With Possession of Child Pornography

robert trueblood

Robert Trueblood, pastor of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northrop, Minnesota (affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod)  has been charged with possessing child pornography. The Fairmont Sentinel reports:

The pastor at St. James Lutheran Church in Northrop has been charged with possessing child pornography, a felony.

Robert Cairl Trueblood, 56, of Fairmont is charged with possession of pornographic material on a work computer, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On March 7, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension received a tip from the company Chatstep. According to company representatives, a user identified as “PervyPastor” accessed a chat room through the service and uploaded a photographic image identified to be consistent with child pornography. Chatstep provided information about the user’s IP address, and indicated the incident occurred on March 7, at about 4:14 p.m.

The Bureau received information from Frontier Communications in response to a subpoena that indicated the IP address was assigned to a subscriber identified as St. James Lutheran Church and School in Northrop.

The agent accessed the website for the church and school and located the staff directory. Given the name utilized by the reported user as “PervyPastor,” the agent identified Reverend Robert C. Trueblood as the school’s superintendent. The agent noted that all other staff consisted of females.

The Bureau received information from Chatstep that indicated the identified user of “PervyPastor” had accessed the chat room in question at various times on March 6-7, and utilized the previously reported IP address on both dates. Chatstep officials also provided historical data from Nov. 4, 2016, through April 19, 2017, for access to their site from the reported IP address. The agent reviewed the comprehensive list of data and confirmed that on numerous occasions user “PervyPastor” accessed chat rooms on the service, and also noted that additional users “TrueRev,” “Kyle” and “Robert,” also accessed Chatstep chat rooms from the reported IP address, and the rooms were the same or similar to the ones accessed by “PervyPastor.”

In an undercover capacity, the agent accessed Chatstep, located a chat room and noted that “TrueRev,” was present and active in the room. The agent took the opportunity to engage in correspondence with the active participants.

The agent initiated correspondence with a greeting “Hi from MN.” “TrueRev” responded with “Minnesota here as well,” and indicated he was from Fairmont. During the conversation, the agent questioned “TrueRev” with regard to his username, and asked if it meant that the reference to “Rev” was related to his occupation as a reverend. “TrueRev” responded, “yes”

The agent asked “TrueRev” what his preferences would be given his occupation, and “TrueRev” replied that the “job itself has nothing to do with the preferences.”

The agent then engaged “TrueRev” in a private correspondence during which “TrueRev” provided his cell phone number and email address, indicating the information was to be used for “clandestine conversations.” The email given was “erastes@tutanota.com,” and the agent confirmed that the telephone number given is a VOIP service number and that tutanota.com is an encrypted email service that provides end-to-end encryption of a subscriber’s email contents and attachments. This information led the agent to believe that “TrueRev” is actively engaged in taking steps to conceal his identity.

The agent conducted an open source search of the name “erastes” as noted in the email, and found that erastes is a noun to refer to an adult male in ancient Greece who courted or was in a pederastic relationship with an adolescent boy who was called an eromenos. The reference to erastes gave the indication that “TrueRev” has potential interest in adolescent boys.

The agent continued in an undercover capacity, and engaged in communication with “TrueRev” through the email address. “TrueRev” advised that his name is “Kyle” and stated that he was 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, red hair and goatee, and sent an accompanying photograph. It was noted that the physical description matched that of Trueblood. The photograph depicted a nude male seated in a chair pictured from the chin down, and matched the general physical description of Trueblood.

In email communication, “TrueRev” indicated he had been propositioned for sexual contact by individuals under the age of legal consent, but indicated he had not followed through with physical contact.

On April 24, “TrueRev” established a privated chat room with Chatstep, and the agent corresponded with “TrueRev,” who was in the room under the username “Pastor.” During this time “TrueRev” sent several sexually explicit photographs of young males. Many were of young boys whose ages were questionable as it relates to them being 18 years of age.

During the chat, “Pastor” stated he taught elementary and secondary levels at a local parochial school, consistent with Trueblood’s position within St. James Lutheran School.

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A trial date has been set for February 21, 2018. (link no longer active)

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Sentenced to Four Years in Prison on Child Pornography Charge

clovis vilchez parra

Clovis Vilchez-Parra, former associate pastor at Mission San Juan Diego Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois was sentenced to four years in prison through for distributing child pornography.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

A former associate pastor at an Arlington Heights church was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday for distributing child pornography, according to court records.

Clovis Vilchez-Parra, 36, also was ordered to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to the charge during a hearing in Cook County’s Rolling Meadows branch court. Numerous other pornography charges were dropped in exchange for his plea.

Vilchez-Parra was a priest at the Mission San Juan Diego Catholic Church at the time of his arrest in 2015 by police in Palatine, where he lived in housing provided by the Archdiocese of Chicago, authorities said.

Prosecutors said Vilchez-Parra used computer file-sharing software to locate, download and distribute pornographic images of children younger than 13. The computer activity was traced by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, prosecutors said. Authorities obtained a search warrant and found the images on a laptop computer and a flash drive at his residence, prosecutors said.

After his arrest, the archdiocese said in a statement, Vilchez-Parra was withdrawn from ministry “pending the resolution of this matter.”

You can read the original story here.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jacob Malone Sentenced to 3-6 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

jacob malone

I have written previously about Jacob Malone: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jacob Malone Plans to Admit He Raped Church Teenager and Black Collar Crime: Judge Rejects Calvary Fellowship Pastor Jacob Malone’s Plea Agreement.

The hammer has finally dropped on Jacob Malone, one time pastor at Calvary Fellowship in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Malone was sentenced Friday to three to six years in prison for “institutional sex assault, corruption of minors and child endangerment.” The New York Daily News reports:

 A suburban Philadelphia pastor accused of sexually assaulting and impregnating a teenager has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to three to six years in prison after a judge rejected an earlier plea agreement as too lenient.

Thirty-five-year-old Jacob Malone, of Exton, was sentenced Friday after entering guilty pleas to institutional sex assault, corruption of minors and child endangerment. He also must register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Malone and prosecutors had reached an earlier plea deal that called for a two-year minimum jail term, but Judge Jacqueline Cody rejected that deal a month ago.

Malone was working at Calvary Fellowship, a nondenominational church in Downingtown, when authorities say he began sexually assaulting the girl in the fall of 2014, when she was in her late teens. She gave birth a year ago to their daughter. She maintained he took advantage of her “mentally, physically, spiritually.”

In court, Malone admitted he gave the girl alcohol but said the sexual encounters were consensual. He apologized, saying his “failures and weaknesses” had hurt her, her family and his family.

“She admired me and trusted me, and I betrayed that,” he said.

Cody called the case “one of the times when the court system fails” and said even with the stiffer sentence in the new plea agreement Malone would be “serving a sentence much lighter than the crime deserves.”

The original charges against Malone included rape. His defense attorney Evan Kelly said in a statement that Malone “has always been adamant” he did not rape the teenager but has admitted to other crimes. “And for that he is embarrassed, ashamed and truly remorseful,” Kelly said.

A number of people, myself included, believe that Malone’s sentence is way too lenient in light of the crimes he committed.

 

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Leader Benjamin Tweedt Charged With Sex Crimes

benjamin tweedt

Benjamin Tweedt, a youth leader for Parkview Church in Iowa City, Iowa was arrested yesterday and charged with “one count of sexual abuse third degree, two counts of lascivious acts with a child, three counts of indecent contact with a child, and two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.”

ABC-9 reports:

32-year-old Benjamin Craig Tweedt, of North Liberty is charged with one count of sexual abuse third degree, two counts of lascivious acts with a child, three counts of indecent contact with a child, and two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.

According to police, it is alleged that Tweedt had multiple one-on-one sessions as a youth church leader with four victims over 10 years. Some of the sessions occurred on church retreats or in victims’ bedrooms. Parkview Church removed Tweedt from their student ministry as soon as they were aware of the situation.

“We’re grieving for the families of the victims that have been involved in this situation” said Doug Schillinger, the lead pastor at Parkview Church.

Schillinger said he wants the truth to be exposed, justice carried out and compassion extended to the victims and their families. Church leaders told the congregation what happened, who was responsible and what they were doing about it. The lead pastor said when he first heard of the abuse, he was shocked because it does not reflect their values or policies at all.

“Again, of the hundreds of volunteers in our school districts, teachers that do it right, that even in spite of good policies there’s one that could go off and it’s very troubling to me” said Schillinger.

Coralville and North Liberty Police have been working together on the case. So far, there’s no evidence to suggest that other people knew the abuse was happening. North Liberty Police Chief Diane Venenga said the victims were very brave to come forward.

Parkview Church released the following statement:

In early February we were made aware of incidents that occurred involving a volunteer in the junior high ministries prior to 2012 and immediately contacted state and local authorities. We also notified the church community about the situation. Parkview has cooperated with law enforcement and will continue to do so, and we ask that any questions be directed toward these authorities. Our desire is to see truth exposed, justice executed, and compassion expressed to those who have been impacted. We care deeply for students and families in our community. We ask that you respect the privacy of all who are involved at this time. Thank you.

Black Collar Crime: Presbyterian Pastor Walter Chuquimia Charged With Sexual Battery

walter chuquimia

Walter Chuquimia, pastor of Beth-El Farmworker Ministry in Wimauma, Florida was arrested yesterday and charged with three counts of sexual battery. Chuquimia allegedly sexually abused a girl for six years, beginning when the girl was eleven years old.  Fox-13 reports:

Walter Chuquimia, 59, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office after detectives said they found Chuquimia raped a 17-year-old on April 24, 2017.

During their investigation, detectives found the suspect has sexually battered the victim several times dating back to 2011.

HCSO said Chuquimia was the pastor at Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc. during part of this time. Detectives said Chuquimia admitted to several of the offenses and was arrested and booked on April 24, 2017.

He was charged with three counts of sexual battery.

Detectives have not identified other victims, however, anyone with information concerning Chuquimia is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 813-247-8200.

According to Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc.’s Facebook page, the church’s focus is giving assistance to farm workers and their extended family members through worship with the Hispanic community.

Chuquimia’s bio on Beth-El Farmworker Ministry’s website states:

Rev. Walter F. Chuquimia is a native of Bolivia, South America, and is a child born in a non-Catholic household.  His grandfather was a descendant of the Inca Empire and the first Bolivian native ordained onto the ministry.   Pastor Walter has two brothers and a sister graduated from Theological Seminaries in the United States. He remains in touch with his mother, brothers and a sister living in his native Bolivia.   In Bolivia he had earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education, and though in rural area elementary schools.   Walter attended Universidad Adventista de Centroamerica (Central American Adventist University) in Alajuela, Costa Rica. He worked as Bible Teacher and Literature Evangelist in several Central American Countries. In the United States he graduated from McCormick theological Seminary with Mater of Divinity Degree.  Walter was ordained in 1996 at his hometown church, Valley Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale, Arizona, Grand Canyon Presbytery.

Walter played professional soccer for Alajuela Football Club, Costa Rica.  In United States encouraged by elders of his first congregation he had learn to play golf and racquetball, his daily routine includes outdoor walking or biking.   Walter has an excellent command of the English and Spanish language, an effective public speaker and skilled translator from English to Spanish and vice versa. He is sensitive and respectful of the long-standing traditions of the church and community; open enough to a dialogue that can invigorate our worship and service to the Lord. Formal education received in South America, Central America, Puerto Rico and in the United States of America.

Walter is married to Lorraine, raising together a daughter and son, and is also a very proud father of Kelly Adelina Chuquimia (Arizona) and Sally Maria Chuquima  (Pennsylvania), whose mother is also a pastor.

Rev. Walter Chuquimia is the pastor of the worshiping community at Beth-El Mission.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Robert Keith Charged with $700,000 Theft

pastor r david keith

Robert (R. David) Keith, pastor of New Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey was arrested and charged  with “stealing approximately $700,000 at his side job at a local repair company.” New Brunswick Today reports:

Authorities announced on March 28 that they had charged a member of the clergy with stealing approximately $700,000 at his side job at a local repair company.

Robert Keith, a 46-year-old West Orange resident, was charged with credit card theft, money laundering, forgery, theft by unlawful taking, and unlawful use of a credit card, according to the official statement.

It all stemmed from his employment at RupCoe, the South Plainfield company where he was apparently a bookkeeper despite not being a licensed certified public accountant.

“During the investigation it was determined that the defendant, while working as the bookkeeper for a South Plainfield plumbing, heating and air conditioning company, stole the money in various amounts between February 1, 2015 and February 7, 2017.”

But Keith is also apparently a pastor in Essex County, going by the name R. David Keith and serving as the public face of a Newark church.  Prosecutors allege he played up his status as a “religious leader” to “add legitimacy” to his bookkeeping services.

The official statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) did not mention the company that Keith allegedly victimized, nor did it indicate which church he preached at.

But it wasn’t hard to figure out he was the preacher at Newark’s New Ebeneezer Baptist Church, where a banner with his face is hanging from the building, according to a NBC television report.

Some people told reporters that Keith had claimed to own a car dealership, and that they never knew about his bookkeeping job.

“The investigation began after company officials discovered the thefts and contacted police,” read the MCPO release.

“It has been determined during the course of the investigation that he sought to add legitimacy to his bookkeeping services by describing himself as a religious leader.”

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