Pastor Sentenced for Embezzling from Union Benefits Funds

January 18, 2011 ( – A federal judge has sentenced Gregory Sims of Dade City, Florida, to 30 months in federal prison for embezzling money from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 915.

According to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill, Sims is the pastor at The Crossroads Church of Dade City. He also managed the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 915’s (IBEW) union Health and Welfare Fund, Pension Fund and Vacation Fund from November 2007 through January 2009. As the fund manager, Sims was responsible for financial recordkeeping, account reconciliation, fund activity, check issuance and preparation of financial statements.  

The news release said an audit of the IBEW funds resulted in the identification of eleven checks issued from the IBEW funds to The Crossroads Church totaling $813,142.71, all of which were unsupported by proper documentation. Further investigation revealed that Sims deliberately and illegally misappropriated the $813,142.71, by wrongfully diverting the money from the IBEW Fund to the financial accounts of The Crossroads Church of Dade City, Florida, and disbursed the embezzled IBEW Fund money for his personal benefit and for the use of his parishioners and associates.  

As part of sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $813,142.71. Sims pled guilty on September 27, 2010.