Cleveland, Tn., Production Company Owner Charged With Defrauding Church Of God International Of $100,000

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The head of a Cleveland, Tn., production company has been charged with defrauding the Cleveland-based Church of God International of $100,000 in connection with his part in setting up the church's world convention in Orlando, Fla., in 2010.

Troy Scot Carter was charged by federal authorities with securities fraud.

A four-page criminal information says the church hired Carter as a salaried employee with the title of director of communications to help manage the biannual conventions.

He was to help in convention site selections and work with the hotels, convention centers and audio-visual firms involved.

Carter was the head of Scot Carter Productions LLC, an audio-visual firm in Cleveland.

The information says Carter devised a scheme to defraud the church by submitting fraudulent bills in connection with the meetings.

It says as part of the scheme that Carter obtained a contract to provide audio-visual services for the Empowered 21 conference in Tulsa, Okla., at the Oral Roberts University Mabee Center on April 8, 2010. He subcontracted the actual work to Majestic Productions of Indiana. The information says Majestic was unaware of his alleged scheme.

It says Carter and officials with Empowered 21 agreed on a total price of $211,420. It says Empowered 21 was not involved in the scheme.

The information says it was agreed that Carter would receive $44,520 and Majestic would get $166,900. It says Carter only paid Majestic $66,900, "not the $166,900 he rightfully owed them under the contract."

In order to pay the remaining 100,000 to Majestic, it says he submitted a fraudulent bill for $100,000 to the Church of God purporting to be for a down payment owed to Majestic. In fact, Majestic was to perform services for the Church of God in 2010 but did not require this down payment and the $100,000 never became part of Majestic's actual bill, the information says.

The Church of God sent the $100,000 to Majestic, which federal officials said allowed Carter to retain $100,000 he had received from Empowered 21, that he was not entitled to.

James Brooks is handling the prosecution for the federal government.

A statement from the Church of God general overseer on Saturday said:

We learned yesterday that Troy Scot Carter, a former Church of God employee, was officially charged for his part in an elaborate scheme to financially defraud the church, over a period of several years, according to information provided to church officials.

Approximately two years ago, church 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.

During the pendency of this investigation, church leaders were advised by federal authorities and by legal counsel not to 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.

It is believed that the irregularities relate to various expenses connected with past International General Assemblies. 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 church also has been advised that the filing of such charges usually is followed by the presentation of a proposed plea agreement which will outline, in some detail, the results of the investigation. The disposition of any plea agreement, when entered into, is under the sole discretion of the 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.

We urge prayer for all involved and for the continued ministry of the church.



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABLES, JAMIE SHAWN  3449 HALL STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37415  Age at Arrest: 28 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION(THEFT OF PROPERTY) DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REGISTRATION, EXPIRED --- ADAMS, JANIE  811 CHICKAMAUGA ... (click for more)

All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson. Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" ... (click for more)

Building Our Workforce With Tuition-Free College For All Tennessee Adults

As graduation season has come to a close, we celebrated the hard work and perseverance of so many who have achieved their dreams of earning a college degree. Their college success is not only important to their future lives - but also to the future of Tennessee.  Like many places across the country, Tennessee is facing a skilled workforce shortage. And while we know the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saturday Funnies

You know that rattlesnakes, copperheads and water moccasins are deadly reptiles that we in the South must avoid at all costs but then again, snakes are part-and-parcel of the Sothern culture. Some years ago, before the Alabama football team was preparing to play Notre Dame, a Chicago sports writer asked a Crimson Tide player the bigger difference between the two college juggernauts ... (click for more)

Katie Burrows Sets UTC Women's Basketball Staff

Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows is putting the finishing touches on her new staff. The faces will remain the same, but the responsibilities will shift.   Assistant coaches Brittany Johnson and Jon Goldberg will remain on the staff and Debbie Black moved from Director of Operations to assistant coach. Former student-athlete Aryanna Gilbert will be the Mocs' student ... (click for more)

CASL: Thursday's High-Point Scorers

CUMBERLAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS: None reported. RIDGESIDE HIGH-POINT SCORERS: 19 – Arianna Bond, Izzy Bauer, Drew Bond, Madeline Bond 17 – Beccan Fitzsimmons, Taj Goodman, Adelaide Bond, Jack Fitzsimmons 16 – Brynne Burkhart 15 – Alex Lowry 14 – Ryan Carpenter, Kathy Zeglen, Owen Eastman 13 – Asa Hedrick 12 – Erynn Whaley, Monica Suttles 11 – Wally ... (click for more)