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Indianapolis Minister Guilty Using Church Money To Buy Mink Coat

Last updated on Monday, December 12, 2011

(INDIANAPOLIS)(AP) - An Indianapolis minister who pleaded guilty to using money borrowed for the construction of a new church to buy a mink coat and a Mercedes Benz has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

Thirty-8-year-old Wayne Taft Harris was sentenced Friday to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $449,000 in restitution.

He had pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud for defrauding a Florida nonprofit religious group of $449,000 from 2005 through 2006.

Prosecutors said Harris arranged for his church to receive the funds as a loan solely for use to build a new church building in Indianapolis.

But they say Harris instead misappropriated the loan funds and bought numerous personal items, including a Mercedes Benz automobile and a man's mink coat.

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