Former Pastor Gets Probation for Stealing $288K From Church

Prosecutors say pastor wrote himself unauthorized checks, withdrew church money from an ATM and transferred funds into his account from 2012 to 2016

By Justin Franz

MISSOULA — A former pastor who embezzled more than $288,000 from the United Pentecostal Church has been sentenced to five years of probation.

The Missoulian reports 66-year-old Kenneth Hogue was sentenced in federal court in Missoula on Thursday after previously pleading guilty to a wire fraud charge.

Hogue was responsible for depositing offerings and writing checks for expenses in his role as treasurer of the church’s Rocky Mountain District.

Prosecutors say he wrote himself unauthorized checks, withdrew church money from an ATM and transferred funds into his account from 2012 to 2016. A $5,000 transfer alerted authorities to the theft.

Hogue’s attorney said his client siphoned the money to feed a gambling addiction and started paying the church back long before he was charged.

Hogue had been a pastor at the Grace and Truth Pentecostal church in Butte since 1982.

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