Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dade City pastor pleads guilty in embezzlement case

TAMPA — A Dade City pastor is accused of embezzling more than $800,000 from a union investment fund he managed and funneling at least some of the money to his church.

Gregory Sims, 38, pleaded guilty in federal court this week to theft or embezzlement of an employee benefit plan. The charge carries a possible five-year prison sentence, though Sims' plea agreement emphasizes repaying the money he took from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 915, based in Tampa.

The plea agreement says Sims, who was pastor of Crossroads Church on Clinton Avenue, began working for a company called Antares Staffing in late 2007. Antares was a subsidiary of Medical Mutual Services LLC, which managed the IBEW's health, welfare, pension and vacation funds.

Sims' responsibilities included keeping financial records, reconciling accounts and issuing checks. He worked for Antares until January 2009, when he was fired. In June of that year, the plea deal says, an audit of IBEW funds turned up 11 checks from the union's accounts to Crossroads Church totaling $813,142.17.

"After unlawfully diverting the money from the IBEW Fund to the Crossroads Church accounts that he controlled, Sims disbursed the embezzled IBEW Fund money for his personal benefit and for the use of his parishioners and associates," the plea agreement says.

To try to hide his embezzlement, Sims manipulated the bookkeeping to show payments to entities other than Crossroads Church, the agreement says.

Sims could not be reached Thursday. His attorney, David Weisbrod of Tampa, did not return a message seeking comment. A message left at the church also was not returned, and it was not known whether Sims is still affiliated with the church.

The plea agreement says Sims is on the hook to repay the full amount. He will be sentenced Sept. 27.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

Dade City pastor pleads guilty in embezzlement case 09/09/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 8:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum

    Hurricanes

    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  2. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar

    Blogs

    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.
  3. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

    Blogs

    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  4. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  5. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.