Pastor Toris Young Convicted For Theft of $1 Million in Hurricane Katrina Loans, Gets 10 Years
A former New Orleans pastor was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for stealing nearly $1 million in disaster loan payments meant to rebuild his church after Hurricane Katrina.
Toris Young, 41, apologized for his “mistakes” and “bad choices” before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier handed down a sentence that was roughly twice that recommended under federal sentencing guidelines.
“Today I come sorrowful. I come regretful. I come with my heart poured out, asking this court to please have mercy,” said Young, who made headlines in recent years for leading a failed effort to recall a Louisiana congressman and for planning an anti-crime campaign with a rapper awaiting a murder trial.
His plea didn’t sway Barbier, who said he had considered imposing an even longer sentence. Young had faced a maximum of 30 years in prison.
“You really stole from your own church, from your own parishioners,” the judge said. “There’s no church now, so they’re really your victims, too, along with the federal government.”
Barbier also ordered Young to pay $963,900 in restitution to the Small Business Administration.
Young, who pleaded guilty in January to theft of government funds and mail fraud, submitted fraudulent invoices and receipts to the SBA after the 2005 storm to obtain the loan for the Bible Way Baptist Church. Instead of using the money to repair damage from the 2005 hurricane, Young spent the money on jewelry, vehicles, real estate, designer clothes and other personal expenses.
Read full report at Church Scandal Report