Pastor Charged in Federal Court with Stealing Government Funds from Excel Academy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 29, 2012|
United States Attorney James L. Santelle has announced that a federal grand jury has indicted Gregory L. Goner (age 40) of Franklin with various theft and fraud counts. The defendant, who is the pastor at Spirit Governed Baptist Church (SGBC) located at 3223 W. Lloyd Street in Milwaukee, operated Excel Academy, a Milwaukee choice school, from 2004 through the spring of 2010. Excel Academy was supported by government funds including more than $100,000 per year in federal funds from the United States Departments of Education and Agriculture.
The indictment alleges that Goner used Excel’s funds for various purposes unrelated to the educational mission of the school. Specifically, counts one through four of the indictment charge that the defendant misapplied Excel’s funds for various non-educational purposes including his purchase of two apartment buildings, paying a deacon at SGBC, and needlessly leasing space at SGBC. Each of those counts is alleged to be in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A). If convicted, Goner is subject to a fine of not more than $250,000, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, plus a mandatory $100 special assessment and not more than three years of supervised release on each count.
Count five charges Goner with wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, for obtaining more than $313,000 in loan funds to purchase apartment buildings at 77th and Hampton in Milwaukee by submitting a false residential rental contract in support of his loan application. If convicted, he is subject to a fine of not more than $250,000, imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both, plus a mandatory $100 special assessment and not more than three years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Education. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mel S. Johnson.
The public is cautioned that an indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
For additional information contact:
Assistant United States Attorney Mel S. Johnson or Public Information Officer Dean Puschnig, 414-297-1700