Former pastor sentenced to nearly 10 years in stealing from his church

Savannah Mercury News/January 24, 2012

A former Bloomingdale pastor today was sentenced to nearly 10 years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $381,000 in restitution for admitting to stealing more than $201,000 from the New Harvest International Ministries church he pastored.

Kenneth Terrell, 47, also must serve a three-year supervised release after he completes his custody term, U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. ordered.

Terrell pleaded guilty in May to a single count in the indictment charging him with wire fraud of $201,450 on Oct. 10, 2007, as part of a negotiated plea in a larger scheme.

Moore granted a request from Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalie Lee for an enhanced sentence because Terrill obstructed justice by lying during his sentencing hearing Monday night.

The judge also rejected a reduction for acceptance of responsibility.

In addition, Lee cited Terrell's criminal history of 13 convictions, including one for child molestation, and 13 additional arrests as well as what she said was a "pretty outrageous fraud" in the current case.

"It demonstrates to me that Mr. Terrell has not changed and will not change," Lee told Moore.

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