Pastor linked to bribery sentenced to 5 years in jail

Pastor linked to bribery sentenced to 5 years in jail

The bribery case has ended with a five-year prison sentence for a New Jersey pastor.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ordered 47-year-old Trevon Gross to jail as well as to pay a $12,000 fine, according to a Reuters report.

U.S. prosecutors said Gross took bribes from Anthony Murgio, operator of exchange, and his partner, Yuri Lebedev, in exchange for letting them take over the Hope Federal Credit Union, a small credit union that Gross ran from his church. The bribes included $150,000 in donations to Gross’s church, HOPE Cathedral in Jackson, New Jersey, according to investigators.

Pastor linked to bribery sentenced to 5 years in jailProsecutors said Murgio used the credit union to avoid having banks and regulators look into its activities by disguising the transactions as restaurant delivery charges and online purchases of collectible items.

Gross was indicted in March 2016, and the credit union was later closed down by regulators.

The Florida-based exchange was shut down in 2015 after authorities found that it was an unlicensed money transfer business that used digital currency like Bitcoin to launder cash for dark web criminals, including drug dealers, and facilitate extortion scheme. The exchange was also suspected of laundering money for a group of hackers targeting financial companies like JPMorgan Chase and Dow Jones.

Lebedev, a Florida-based software engineer, was convicted of conspiracy and fraud charges in March, along with Gross. Lebedev was sentenced to 16 months in prison in October.

Murgio was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison in June after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transfer business and conspiracy to obstruct examination of an unlicensed financial institution.

The three men, however, did not face hacking charges after investigators found that’s real owner was Gary Shalon, who’s also behind the illegal scheme that hacked at least nine companies and stole information from more than 100 million people. Shalon pleaded not guilty to criminal charges.