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Delaware Minister Receives 4-Year Jail Term, Ordered to Pay Back $150,000

Rev. Lawrence Wright of Wilmington, DE, was ordered by a U.S. District Court judge in Wilmington to spend 51 months in prison and pay $150,000 in restitution for money laundering, interstate transportation of stolen property, false statements, and conspiracy to steal and misuse state transportation funds. Wright took $150,000 in “Suburban Street” funds authorized for the New Mount Olive Baptist Church, where he is the minister. He took about $80,000 for personal use, kicked back about $60,000 to a local politician, now deceased, who helped him win the grant, and directed the remaining $10,000 to the church. The funds came from Delaware's Transportation Trust Fund, which receives about 40 percent of its funding from FHWA and FTA. OIG and the FBI investigated the case.