Illinois Pastor Jailed for Multiple Counts of Financial Fraud

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Lekevie Johnson, the former senior pastor of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist in Champaign, Illinois, has been sentenced to 10 months of jail time after pleading guilty to misuse of federal funds. All of which was spent on gambling and personal gain. 

Rev. Lekevie Johnson, 47, confessed to multiple financial crimes at the federal court in December. The charges include student loans used to finance gambling, misuse of federal grants, and false statements in bankruptcy petitions. 

On the 10th of April, 2023, Lekevie Johnson was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Micheal Mhim with a fine of $59,358. The restitution must be paid to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Education. Johnson must report to the federal Bureau of Prisons by June 6, 2023, to begin his jail time. 

According to a press release by the Department of Justice, Johnson defrauded federal agencies for nearly a decade. 

 “I have blamed no one but myself for my self-inflicted situation,” Lekevie Johnson said before being sentenced. 

Lekevie Johnson has been a senior minister of Mount Calvary since 2009. He only resigned in November 2022. His bio states that he has been ordained since 1999 when he first pastored at a church in Mississippi from 2001 to 2009. For seven years, Johnson coordinated a nonprofit group in Illinois called Life Line—a program to assist underprivileged students. The minister received a federal grant of over $20,000 to aid his charitable group. However, the DOJ discovered Johnson embezzled the funds for personal benefits, counties off record withdrawals for gambling.

It was recently discovered that Johnson’s bankruptcy shenanigans also intersected with the church finances. He stated his church income as $42,900. However, federal investigators found he received tens of thousands of additional funds from the church. 

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Although Johnson’s past sermons are still up on the church media page, he is currently not featured on the church’s website.  

Bottom line: As ambassadors of Christ, it is our call to practice and exemplify what we teach, not act otherwise. Satan always wants to keep believers at arm’s length. Flee from the temptation to do wrong and stay void of sin. 

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Temitope Ogunsanya is a contributor for AfroGistMedia with a passion for storytelling. She captures valuable insights to drive a cohesive reader experience.

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