Pastor sentenced to two years in federal prison

After a three year investigation, the Rev. Henry Humphrey, pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church, was sentenced to two years in federal prison for defrauding the U.S. government.

The case stemmed from the west Louisville minister’s failed attempt to turn the old Maupin Elementary School into an affordable housing complex for senior citizens, which used a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to redevelop the property.

In 2009, HUD’s inspector general began looking into the development project after Congressman John Yarmuth, D-KY, urged federal authorities to begin looking into allegations that the federal earmarks — which were supplied to Humphrey via former Republican Congresswoman Anne Northup — were being misspent.

“It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the adequacy of the sentence,” Yarmuth says. “My interest is to ensure that those who would misuse taxpayer dollars are held accountable.”

The investigation found that $831,000 was stolen, with Humphrey pleading guilty to several criminal counts, including soliciting kickbacks, submitting false reports to HUD and conspiracy to launder money. The senior complex was never built and remains an eyesore in the Parkland neighborhood.

From The Courier-Journal:

The judge told Humphrey that the “most serious part” of the crime is that the needed affordable housing complex for seniors was never built. She said there is no doubt that the case involved “mismanagement and intentional theft.”

“The church was used to solicit influence over the co-defendants to do Mr. Humphrey’s bidding,” (U.S. District Judge Jennifer) Coffman said. “It’s a very serious crime, there’s no question about that … too serious for probation.”

What’s even more troubling is that according to The C-J, church leaders say the good reverend will remain pastor at Shiloh during his incarceration.

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