The former headmaster of a Huntersville Christian school has agreed to plead guilty to embezzling $9 million from the school and its affiliated church, and using it for personal expenses.
Wayne Parker Jr. of Mooresville was headmaster and later chief financial officer of Southlake Christian Academy for a total of 18 years. He had also served as volunteer treasurer at Southlake Presbyterian Church. In 2014, he and the church's pastor resigned after a review of the school's books turned up discrepancies.
Huntersville police and the FBI began investigating the financial irregularities and this week announced a plea agreement with the 59-year-old Parker.
In court documents, authorities allege that Parker siphoned off school and church funds between 2000 and 2014 to pay for what one FBI investigator called an "extravagant lifestyle." The money was used to build houses; buy real estate, luxury cars and a boat; and pay for vacations, and even gold.
Authorities say he also worked with an unnamed co-conspirator, who used church and school funds for personal expenses, including college tuition, medical and credit card bills and car payments.
Parker is expected to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, which could bring a prison term of up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine. He'll also have to pay restitution.
July 22, 2016, U.S. Attorney's office press release, "Former Headmaster Is Charged With Wire Fraud For Stealing Nearly $9 Million From Huntersville Area School And Affiliated Church"
Oct. 23, 2014, WFAE.org, "FBI Probes Embezzlement Claims At SouthLake Christian Academy"