“A west Tulsa pastor accused of fraudulently using nearly $1 million of church and community center money will spend the next three years behind bars.
Reverend Willard Jones pleaded guilty in October to wire fraud and filing a false tax return.
Jones was the pastor of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church and founder of the Greater Cornerstone Community Development Project. After charges were filed in August, church members planned to force Jones out but before a vote could be had he announced his sabbatical.
When Jones pleaded guilty he admitted using more than $900,000 from the community center’s funds on luxuries for himself, including jewelry, cars, liquor, gambling and renovating his home.
Shannon McMurray, board president of Cornerstone, says Jones stole the money right out from under her. She says he wrapped board members around his finger.
“You know what he’s sorry for? He got caught. That’s what I told the judge. Acceptance of responsibility is an important part of your consideration. He did nothing to assist. He delayed, thwarted the board’s attempt to figure out what was going on. It took a federal subpoena,” she said.
As part of the plea, Jones must forfeit his house, a Rolex watch and a fur coat, plus pay restitution in the amount of $933,507.80.
Jones was sentenced in federal court Monday to 37 months in prison, then three years of supervision upon his release while paying restitution.”