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Birmingham Baptist pastor gets prison timecomment (0)

January 3, 2008

An Alabama Baptist pastor in Birmingham convicted of filing false income tax returns was sentenced Dec. 18 to 21 months in federal prison.

Gregory Clarke, pastor of the 6,000-member New Hope Baptist Church in Birmingham Baptist Association, will begin his sentence Feb. 15, according to The Birmingham News.

The judge also ordered him to pay $35,684 in restitution to the government.

When Clarke was convicted in July 2007, jurors rejected his claims that much of the money he received was gifts, or “love offerings,” and not compensation for services he provided, according to the News. The jury found him guilty on three counts.

Prosecutors said Clarke underreported $110,000 in earned income during 2000, 2001 and 2002 and concocted a convoluted manner to deceive the government, funneling earned income into accounts, the News reported. (TAB)

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