Pastor Defrauded Social Security For $150K

Screwing taxpayers out of $150,000? For more than 11 years, it was all in a day’s work for Pastor Pennell.

A former Brunswick [Maine] pastor waived indictment and pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to theft of government money.

Carroll Freemont Pennell, 69, of Cushing, Texas, admitted that he lied about the income he received from the Word of God Fellowship Church to continue receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. He also admitted that he instructed the church board to pay his wife, Glenna Pennell, the pastor’s salary.


In addition to theft of government money, Pennell was charged in August with conspiracy to commit Social Security fraud. He never entered a plea to the conspiracy charge because he was never indicted by a federal grand jury on that charge. The conspiracy charge is expected to be dropped when Pennell is sentenced. …

By pleading guilty to theft of government money, Pennell admitted that he received nearly $150,000 in illegal benefits between February 1999 and August 2010 when he converted to Social Security retirement benefits.

He could be looking at ten years in prison plus a quarter-million-dollar fine.