Many church members have been reportedly thrown into shock after Rev Clarence Smith Jr, a 45-year old pastor in Chicago was arrested and put under investigation for stealing Charity funds to buy himself a luxury Bentley ride.
Rev Clarence Smith Jr – Chicago pastor accused of stealing charity funds for personal use
Rev Clarence Smith is the pastor of New Life Impact Church in Chicago, USA. His story has started made several national headlines on several accusations of fraud and fund misappropriation. A recent Chicago Tribune publication reported that the pastor had pleaded “not guilty” to 4 different counts of fraud against him in a U.S District court.
Most notably among the current charges against the pastor is an accusation that he withdrew a lump sum of more than ₦52million ($142,000) from the bank account of the church to acquire a luxurious 2015 Bentley Flying Spur sedan for himself.
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No one can really give a complete account of how many accusations and charges of fraud or fund misappropriation are being levied against the pastor for now but quoted below is a recent public statement he gave as a reply to these allegations;
“To everyone who has [seen] this negative article about me in the press I say wait until you get all the facts,”
‘It totally hurt me that after fighting back and forth with the state for 5 years that I have been charged with fraud from the food program. Of course the media would portray me as a criminal but didn’t mention the multiple daycares that I had running and several other businesses that I was a part of.
‘I’m not here to prove or explain myself to anyone. I’m going to fight this with everything I have in me. For those of you who know me and won’t rush to judgement please pray for me and for those of you who are looking to throw me or the Church under the bus pray for me also. Peace.”