Florence pastor sentenced in bank fraud, identity theft case

Tony McElveen Sr.

RALEIGH, NC (WBTW) – A well-known Florence pastor has been sentenced in a bank fraud and identity theft case, in connection to his job as a supervisor at a BB&T bank.

Tony McElveen Sr. was the pastor at Greater Faith World Outreach Church, also known as the Full Gospel World Outreach Church. According to the U. S. Department of Justice, McElveen was sentenced to 51 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. He must also pay full restitution and ordered to forfeit $107,390.

McElveen used his position as BB&T branch manager, in Rowland, North Carolina, to steal the personal identifiers of two elderly customers to fraudulently obtain loans and credit cards in their names, according to an investigation.

The loan proceeds and credit cards were used for his personal benefit to pay for, among other things, rental cars, a home security system and hotel rooms in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  

In addition, McElveen closed a $50,000 certificate of deposit owned by one of the elderly victims, without her knowledge, and used most of the proceeds to make a large payment toward his delinquent residential mortgage, Higdon said.

McElveen tried to conceal his criminal activity through the use of his position as pastor for the Greater Faith World Outreach Church in Florence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U. S. District Attorney of Eastern North Carolina Robert Higdon Jr. said “This defendant took advantage of vulnerable, elderly individuals by abusing his position of trust as a Pastor. His crime is simply despicable! And it’s happening all too often across our country. We must remain vigilant and help our older citizens remain aware of those targeting them as fraud victims.”

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