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Rev. C. Jay Matthews of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church Charged In Federal Court for Keeping $90,000 for Himself

Rev. C. Jay Matthews of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church Charged In Federal Court for Keeping $90,000 for Himself

Here’s yet another pastor who is dipping his hands in the cookie jar without permission but didn’t repay the baker.

Report from Cleveland.com states:

The Rev. C. Jay Matthews, 58, a minister for more than 25 years, has been senior pastor at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church on Cleveland’s East Side since 1988. On Tuesday afternoon, he was charged in federal court with six counts of willful failure to collect or pay over taxes his church employees’ wages.

The charges filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland claim Matthews collected more than $90,600 in federal Social Security and Medicare taxes from his employees’ wages, but failed to report and pay the money to the IRS.

“Rather, Matthews caused those funds to be used for other purposes, including transfers to the pastor’s account for his own personal use,” the charges stated.

Reached on his cell phone Tuesday, Matthews said he couldn’t immediately comment because he was visiting a sick constituent in a hospital. His lawyer Robert Garfield could not be reached to comment on the charges.

The church at 7510 Woodland Ave. sits in a poverty-wracked area of the city. It is flanked by a senior citizen housing complex owned by a non-profit development corporation. State records show Matthews is affiliated with the corporation.

The federal charges said Matthews controlled Mt. Sinai’s operating and payroll accounts and a pastor’s account.

But Matthews has had financial troubles in recent years. Court records show a number of state and federal tax liens levied against him and a home foreclosure action.

About six years ago, he moved from Shaker Heights into a Solon home valued at more than $560,000. At that time he told The Plain Dealer, “My business choices and my work ethic have allowed me to take care of my family financially.”

Sound like the good pastor was having financial issues that some did not know about but at the same time had much control over monies in his church and organizations. He must do the right thing and cooperate with the suit as the report also stated appears to be cooperating.

[Source]