Local Pastor Arrested for Grand Theft and Racketeering
A former pastor was arrested Tuesday (July 14) and charged with stealing funds from a Lake City church, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
Samuel Darin Taylor, 61, was charged with stealing from the church located at 1571 East Duval in Lake City.
Detective Walter Douglas began an investigation into the misuse of church funds in June when the church board and bookkeeper noticed discrepancies in the church's accounting.
It is alleged that Taylor, the former pastor, forged documents to receive loans and mortgages from a local bank.
Taylor opened several credit card accounts without the approval of the church board. He is also accused of using donated property as collateral to receive the loans.
It is estimated that he defrauded the church of more than $250,000, according to the sheriff's office.
Arrest warrants have also been issued for Anthony Raburn for allegedly conspiring with Taylor to defraud the church. It is believed that Raburn is no longer in Lake City.
Taylor is being charged with the following felonies: Conspiracy to Commit Grand Theft, Scheming with Intent to Defraud, Racketeering, Mortgage Fraud and Money Laundering, according to the sheriff's office.
He was booked into the Columbia County Detention Facility and is being held on $50,000 bond. Additional arrests are pending in this case as the investigation moves forward.
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