INDIANAPOLIS-(ENEWSPF)- The United States Attorney’s Office announced Friday that Wayne Taft Harris, Jr., age 38, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence following his guilty plea to two counts of wire fraud. Harris was also ordered to pay $449,000 in restitution and sentenced to two years of supervised release. This prosecution follows an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In entering his plea of guilty, Harris admitted to defrauding a Florida religious non-profit of $449,000 from 2005 through 2006. Harris, a local minister, had arranged for his church to receive the funds in the form of a loan with the understanding that the proceeds of the transaction were to be used solely to construct a new church facility in Indianapolis.
Over the course of those two years, Harris misappropriated the church’s loan funds, purchasing numerous personal items, including a Mercedes Benz automobile and a man’s mink coat. Harris formed a number of religiously oriented corporate entities in connection with the fraudulent activity.