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Cornelius News

Former SouthLake pastor pleads guilty to wire fraud, stealing from church

Dec. 21. Wade Malloy, 62, the former pastor of Southlake Church, has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, for stealing money from the church and Southlake Christian School.

His partner in crime, school Headmaster Wayne C. Parker, has already been sentenced to 60 months in prison for his role in the scheme which netted him nearly $9 million.

According to court documents Malloy conspired with Parker, headmaster of the school, to execute a scheme to defraud SouthLake of between $500,000 and $1 million by embezzling bank funds to pay for Malloy’s personal expenses.

According to court records, Malloy and others founded the church in 1991. Malloy became the Church’s first pastor and served in that capacity until 2014. Among other responsibilities as pastor, Malloy was responsible for overseeing the operation and finances of the church.

Upon Malloy’s recommendation, the church hired Parker as headmaster and chief financial officer in 1996. As CFO, Parker had control over finances and bank accounts.

According to court records, beginning in 2000 and until 2014, Malloy, with Parker’s help, began embezzling School and Church bank funds.

Court records indicate that Malloy had Parker issue additional paychecks to Malloy above and beyond what he was entitled to by the terms of his employment. As the scheme progressed over time, in addition to the extra salary checks, Malloy had Parker used church funds to pay for Malloy’s personal expenses that included, among other things, college tuition, medical bills, cars and credit card bills.

Malloy, who entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer, was released on bond after the hearing. The penalty for the wire fraud charge carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine.

As part of his plea agreement, Malloy has agreed to pay restitution, the amount of which will be determined by the Court at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set yet.

The investigation was led by the FBI and the Huntersville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Zolot, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, is prosecuting the case.