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Father-and-son pastors jailed for theft

June 12, 2009 at 9:21 PM   |   Comments

SANTA ANA, Calif., June 12 (UPI) -- A father and son were sentenced to two years in prison Friday for stealing more than $3 million from a California church where both served as pastors.

Richard Wimberly Cunningham, 76, of Moreno Valley, Calif., and Philip Ladd Cunningham, 52, of Laurinburg, N.C., appeared in court in Orange County, the Los Angeles Times reported. Both had pleaded guilty to grand theft.

Prosecutors said the Cunninghams wrote checks to themselves on eight accounts belonging to the Calvary Baptist Yorba Linda Church and School. They also used church credit cards for personal expenses.

The money was spent on time shares in Hawaii and Palm Springs, Calif., memberships in country clubs and expensive cars. The Cunninghams have already paid $3.1 million in restitution, the newspaper said.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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