Prison for former church CFO who stole $850,000

The former chief financial officer of a historic downtown church was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for embezzling $850,000 from the institution during a five-year span that ended in 2008.

Jason Todd Reynolds, 40, of Bowie, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler to pay $851,298 in restitution to his former employer, the National City Christian Church, as well as $185,435 in taxes.

In August, Reynolds was convicted by a jury in the District’s federal court of 12 charges including aggravated identity theft, tax evasion, wire fraud and bank fraud. Hired in 2001, Reynolds had control over the church’s bank accounts, credit cards and checks, prosecutors said.

He used church funds to pay his mortgage and personal credit card bills. Among his purchase were three cars, including a Lexus and a Range Rover, a $12,000 diamond ring and a projection-screen home theater with leather seating.

The theft forced the church to reduce staffing and to cut back on pay and benefits for employees, according to a letter from Senior Minister Stephen Gentle to the judge.

Gentle added that the church also had to reduce its public ministry and delay needed repairs.

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