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Ex-pastor jailed for theft of €125k from Kildare church

A former pastor who engaged in theft and fraud to steal more than €125,000 from his own Kildare-based church has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Ebenezer Oduntan, a former pastor of the City of David Church in Naas, Co Kildare was convicted of 87 charges of a range of theft and fraud offences following a three-week trial at Naas Circuit Criminal Court last month.

The church, which has been based in Naas Enterprise Park, Naas, Co Kildare since 2015, is a branch of the Nigerian-based Redeemed Christian Church of God.

Oduntan, 58, a married father-of-four of Curragh Grange, Newbridge, Co Kildare had pleaded his innocence in relation to a total of 54 separate charges but admitted his guilt on 19 counts of theft, five counts of deception and nine charges of providing false information to the Companies Registration Office midway through his trial.

The naturalised Irish citizen, who works as a taxi driver, faced 73 separate counts of theft, five charges of deception and nine offences in breach of company law following an investigation by the Corporate Enforcement Authority.

As pastor of the City of David Church, he had sole access and control of its accounts between 2012 and 2020.

Sentencing Oduntan, Judge Martina Baxter said the accused had engaged in a “very prolonged, premeditated and well-planned scheme.”

“He knew exactly what he was doing,” she remarked.

More to follow…

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