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Man sought for misuse of $30M meant for China ministry

Federal prosecutors brought charges against Jason Gerald Shenk for his alleged misuse of over $30 million donated by individuals and religious groups for Christian ministry activities in China. Shenk, formerly based in Dublin, Georgia, faces charges including money laundering, wire fraud and failure to report a foreign bank account. According to the indictment, Shenk received substantial funds from individual donors and faith-based charities, mainly from religious communities in Ohio and North Carolina. He claimed that the donations would be used to produce and distribute Christian literature including Bibles in China. However, prosecutors assert that Shenk diverted a significant portion of the funds for personal expenses, including payments to his family farm’s company, purchasing diamonds and precious metals, life insurance policies, and online sports gambling.

The Associated Press reports:

DUBLIN, Ga. (AP) — Federal prosecutors are seeking a man charged in the misuse of more than $30 million donated by religious groups and individuals for Christian ministry in China, including an Ohio-based group receiving donations from Amish and Mennonite communities.

Jason Gerald Shenk, 45, formerly of Dublin, Georgia, is charged in a recently unsealed federal indictment in Georgia with wire fraud, money laundering and failure to file a report of a foreign bank account.

Prosecutors said Shenk got more than $30 million from faith-based charities and individual donors, primarily from religious communities in Ohio and North Carolina, promising to use the money to produce and distribute Bibles and other Christian literature in China.

Instead, prosecutors allege, he used a lot of it for his own purposes, such as payments to the company running his family farm, buying diamonds and precious metals, buying life insurance policies in various people’s names, online sports gambling, among other things.

Shenk remains at large, and Paschal said Wednesday he is believed to be out of the country. Court documents don’t list an attorney representing him.

The indictment states Shenk obtained about $22 million from one charitable group and its donors and about $10 million from another, along with donations from individuals. The scheme began as early as April 2010 and ran until July 2019, with Shenk renouncing U.S. citizenship in 2016 to evade financial reporting requirements, prosecutors said.

Read the full article here.

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