Case involves $100,000 bill
Posted Monday, March 30, 2015 11:09 am
BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
Troy Scot Carter
A former employee of the Church of God has been charged with interstate transportation of securities taken by fraud in the amount of $100,000.
In a filing with the U.S. District Court by Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Brooks, it was noted that Troy Scot Carter worked as a salaried employee as the director of communications for the denomination’s biannual conventions.
Carter operated Scot Carter Productions LLC for the business purpose of providing audiovisual services.
The charge alleges Carter “devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice … for obtaining money and property by materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.”
“It was the purpose of the scheme to defraud that the defendant, Troy Scot Carter, would embezzle money from the Church of God by various devices, including by presenting false and fabricated bills to the Church of God for audio-visual services that claimed funds the Church of God did not owe,” the filing reads.
The allegation states Carter obtained a contract to provide services for the “Empowered 21” conference in Tulsa, Okla., on April 8, 2010.
The filing claims Carter “sub-contracted the actual work of providing the services to Majestic Productions, Inc. from Indiana.”
It says Majestic or officials with “Empowered 21” were not aware of the alleged scheme.
The allegation continues, saying Carter made an agreement with Majestic on services that totaled $211,420.
“The defendant and Majestic agreed the defendant would receive $44,520 and Majestic would receive $166,900,” the filing states.
“It was further a part of the scheme to defraud that the defendant, Troy Scott Carter, only paid Majestic $66,900, not the $166,900 he rightfully owed them under the contract,” the filing continues. “In order to pay the remaining $100,000 to Majestic, the defendant submitted a fraudulent and falsely made bill to the Church of God purporting to be for a down payment owed to Majestic.”
The allegation states Majestic was to perform service for the Church of God in 2010, but did not require the down payment and the $100,000 never became part of Majestic’s actual bill.
“It was further [part] of the scheme that the defendant’s presentation of the false bill to the Church of God caused the Church of God to send a security, that is a check, in the amount of $100,000 to Majestic and thereby permitted the defendant, Troy Scot Carter, to retain $100,000 he had received from ‘Empowered 21,’ money to which he was not entitled,” the filing states.
The filing continues by alleging Carter “did unlawfully transport and cause to be transported in interstate commerce from the State of Tennessee to the State of Indiana, securities taken by fraud, that is, a check directing the payment of $100,000, a value of $5,000 or more, to Majestic Productions, knowing the same to have been taken by fraud.”
The court document charging Carter with the felony was filed March 27.
In a statement from the Church of God International Executive Committee, the church said officials were made aware of “possible irregularities regarding General Assembly financial matters involving this former employee.”
“Immediately thereafter Legal Counsel for the church was notified, and after consultation with outside legal counsel, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was contacted. This began an extensive investigation, with which the International Executive Committee has fully cooperated,” the statement reads.
The statement says church leaders were advised by federal authorities and by legal counsel to not publicly comment on or publish information regarding the investigation; however, the International Executive Committee was allowed to and did keep the International Executive Council apprised as to the general progress of the ongoing investigation.
“The findings of the investigation have revealed that no elected church official, former or present, was involved in or had any knowledge of the irregularities giving rise to this criminal matter,” the statement continued.
The church also said a “significant amount of the missing funds potentially will be recouped due to an insurance policy protecting the church against such fraud.”
“The church has taken additional measures to ensure that this type of scenario will not occur in the future. The church will take further steps to evaluate the prospects of exercising its legal options to recoup all of the money which was taken and is advised that restitution will probably be a part of any order of the court,” the statement continues.
The statement also says the church has been advised a criminal filing such as this is usually followed by the presentation of a proposed plea agreement which will outline “in some detail” the results of the investigation.
Any plea agreement is under the sole discretion of federal authorities.
“The church will continue to cooperate fully with the FBI and the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee,” the statement concludes.
Court records show no action taken in the matter other than the filing of the charges, and no dates scheduled for any future hearings.
Attempts by the Cleveland Daily Banner to contact Carter for comment early this morning were unsuccessful.