Former pastor faces theft charge

Published 4:39 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

U.S. Attorney Duane Evans announced Thursday that a Mt. Hermon man and former pastor was indicted by a federal grand jury for theft of government funds.

According to Thursday’s indictment, Otho Schilling, 58, while the pastor of a church in Bush from 2005-2016, required the church to pay his personal expenses — such as his health and car insurance premiums, car payments and personal land note — in lieu of the church paying him a salary directly.

The indictment also states that during this period, Schilling was receiving Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA), in the amount of $1,728 a month.

Schilling reportedly concealed both his earnings and employment from the SSA. Accordingly, Schilling fraudulently received more than $200,000 in RSDI benefits that he was not entitled to receive, due to his employment with the church, the indictment states.

Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge, and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, Schilling faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, followed by up to three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and a mandatory $100 special assessment.