CRIME

Jason Todd Reynolds sentenced to eight years in church embezzlement

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Correction:

An original version of this story said that Reynolds pleaded guilty. This story has been corrected.

The former Chief Financial Officer of a Washington church was sentenced to more than eight years in prison Wednesday after he was convicted in August on charges that he embezzled more than $850,000 from the church.

Prosecutors say that 40-year-old Jason Todd Reynolds of Bowie, while acting as the CFO at National City Christian Church, used his access to bank accounts, credit cards and checks to write himself checks and purchase cars, jewelry, electronics, furniture and sports tickets.

"He exploited other people's charity to fund his extravagant vacations, VIP tickets to NBA games, and fancy cars," U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said in a statement. "Mr. Reynolds' crime is beyond offensive."

Reynolds was also found guilty on a dozen criminal counts, including wire fraud, bank fraud, falsifying a loan application, identity theft and tax evasion.

According to prosecutors, Reynolds was hired by the church in 2001 and, by 2003, was named CFO. For five years between 2003 and 2008, prosecutors say he misused church funds to the tune of over $850,000, all of which he has been ordered to pay back as restitution.

Reynolds used the embezzled funds to pay off his mortgage and personal credit card. He also bought a Lexus SUV, Range Rover and Nissan Maxima, a $12,000 diamond ring, made renovations to his home including the purchase of furniture and a home theater system, numerous vacations and courtside Washington Wizards season tickets.

In certain instances, he redirected donations and rent payments made to the church to his own use.

Evidence also showed that Reynolds evaded taxes and fraudulently took out a $450,000 line of credit in the church's name.

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