Thursday, May 30, 2013

Clergy, Sex and Charity Fraud Are Not A Good MIx

by Gary Snyder

A pastor at Mechanicsville (VA) Advent Christian Church who is accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from his own church for sexual favors is now out of jail.

Chris Phillips has been released on his own recognizance. A Henrico woman, Tonya Farnsworth, is accused of extorting money from Phillips after he paid her. Farnsworth has been on the run, but they finally found her in Tampa, Florida and brought her back to Hanover to be charged. She is sitting in jail accused of extorting a hundred thousand dollars from a man she met online for sex. She has a previous arrest for prostitution. 
Hanover investigators say Phillips led them to arrest Farnsworth after they say she extorted him out of $100,000.
Police also arrested Phillips saying he embezzled more than $80,000 from his own church. Investigators will not say where that money went.
According to court documents, Phillips paid Farnsworth $200 for oral sex. In that report, Phillips says "he observed someone filming the encounter or taking photographs."

For the next three months, according to court records, Farnsworth sent Phillips text messages threatening to release the pictures unless he paid her. The documents say the threats happened almost daily.  Phillips worked with police to get Farnsworth to confess over text message, according to the affidavit. She tells him "never trust anyone with your fantasy."

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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