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Katrina Recovery Fraud
Thu July 12, 2012
Ex-pastor sentenced to 10 years for stealing $1M
A former New Orleans pastor has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing nearly $1 million in disaster loan payments meant to rebuild a church after Hurricane Katrina.
Toris Young pleaded guilty in January to theft of government funds and mail fraud. The sentence handed down Thursday by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier was roughly twice that recommended in federal sentencing guidelines.
Young also must pay $963,900 in restitution to the Small Business Administration.
Prosecutors said money meant for the Bible Way Baptist Church was used for Young's personal expenses, including jewelry, vehicles and clothes.
Young submitted fraudulent invoices and receipts to the SBA after the 2005 storm. The church property was vacant with overgrown weeds when the SBA checked to see how he spent the money.