Hattiesburg pastor indicted on six federal charges

Photo Courtesy: Mount Carmel Ministries

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT)  – A Hattiesburg clergyman was indicted Wednesday on six federal charges.

Kenneth Fairley, 62, of Hattiesburg, was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of theft of government money, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity.

Artie Fletcher, 55, of Picayune, was also charged. Fletcher was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from unlawful activity.

Fairley and Fletcher are accused of defrauding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This indictment is related to the remodeling of three, residential, Hattiesburg properties.

The project was financed by federal funds and was to be completed by Pinebelt Community Services.

Pinebelt Community Service is a non-profit operated by Fairley.

The indictment states that Fairley and Fletcher “fraudulently performed work for a lesser amount than represented on the HUD contract, with the difference in the bid and actual costs being transferred to Fairley, through Fletcher, for purposes not intended by the government contract.”

Fairley and Fletcher are scheduled for trial before on Monday, April 18, 2016.

The maximum penalties for the charges range from five to 20 years in prison with fines between $250,000 to $500,000 or twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transaction.

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