HomeCrimeMissionary Jason Shenk on the run after blowing $33M of Bible donations...

Missionary Jason Shenk on the run after blowing $33M of Bible donations on gambling and diamonds

Missionary Jason Shenk’ A manhunt is underway for a 45-year-old missionary, who is accused of misdirecting more than $33 million from Christian charities meant to be spent on Bible distribution in China. Jason Gerald Shenk, who is now considered a fugitive, has been indicted on multiple federal charges in connection to an alleged scheme, which was carried out over the course of nine years, according to authorities in his home state of Georgia.

Missionary Jason Shenk
Missionary Jason Shenk

Authorities assert that Shenk plundered funds from a variety of Christian organizations between 2010 and 2019 on the pretense that they would be used for Bible distribution. Instead, he used the funds to finance his family’s farm, personal purchases like diamonds and precious metals, and gambling. Deputies revealed the preacher’s alleged plot in records they submitted to the Peach State’s Southern District court in July 2022. Shenk, who may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and’substantial financial penalties’ if found guilty, has not been seen by authorities since the filling.

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Who is Jason Shenk?

The 45-year-old Shenk is a former Dublin resident, who lived on a sprawling potato farm that’s been in his family for years. He reportedly renounced his US citizenship in 2016. In statement released on Tuesday, August 1, the Southern District of Georgia’s U.S. Attorney condemned Shenk’s alleged acts as “an egregious breach” of trust and said that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. The statement expanded on the first federal indictment against Shenk, which was released in December and contained three counts of international money laundering and four counts of wire fraud, according to DailyMail.

The statement revealed more examples of the Shenks’ extravagant spending, including $320,000 spent on real estate in Chile and $1 million allegedly spent on diamonds and other precious metals, according to the authorities. A further $850,000, according to officials, was diverted to buy shares in an unidentified “private US nuclear company,” and $4 million was spent on 16 different life insurance policies. The fake missionary’s credit card payments received an additional $820,000, according to state attorneys, and more than $1 million was transferred at an unnamed online sportsbook that was later shut down for fraud. More details concerning the purported steps Shenk reportedly took to conceal his activities throughout the alleged plan are detailed in the indictment.

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What are the charges against Jason Shenk?

Prosecutors alleged that Shenk started the alleged scheme in 2010 under the pretense that he would use the funds primarily to produce and distribute Bibles and Christian literature, specifically in China. Through the scheme, he reportedly obtained over $33 million from US charities.

Shenk, 45, got the money from groups and individuals in Ohio and North Carolina.

In order to “conceal the nature of the transactions,” Shenk directed the funds to a variety of shell corporations, according to officials. He even sent counterfeit spreadsheets with false information regarding the quantity of bibles delivered to particular Chinese areas. Prosecutors claimed that throughout the scheme, Shenk lied to international banks about his identity and the financial situation of his family.

As a result of the fraud, Shenk is now facing a long list of charges including the four aforementioned counts of wire fraud and international concealment money laundering, as well as 13 additional counts of concealment money laundering, 21 counts of money laundering involving transactions greater than $10,000, and one count of failure to file report of foreign bank account. In connection with those accusations, warrants have been issued for his arrest, which, according to the feds, will probably necessitate extradition given the undefined property he is alleged to presently possess in South America and Santiago.

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