Lakeland Pastor Accused of Stealing $110,000 From Church

| December 2, 2011

LAKELAND | The former pastor of New Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church was arrested Thursday on charges of stealing more than $110,000 from the Lakeland church.

Joe S. Hardie, 67, is accused of scheme to defraud, grand theft and three counts of money laundering, according to an ­investigation by the State Attorney's Office.

If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum of 50 years in prison. He remained in jail Thursday afternoon on $41,000 bail.

Hardie served as pastor of the church on North Webster Avenue from October 1995 to April 2010, according to the church's website.

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Category: Church Security

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