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Tulsa Community Center 'Moving Forward' After Funds Stolen

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Close to a million dollars was stolen from the Greater Cornerstone Community Center in Tulsa. Close to a million dollars was stolen from the Greater Cornerstone Community Center in Tulsa.
“What we do is try to provide the needed services in this community that they don’t have access to,” said Greater Cornerstone Community Center Executive Director, Lewis Wilson. “What we do is try to provide the needed services in this community that they don’t have access to,” said Greater Cornerstone Community Center Executive Director, Lewis Wilson.
The Department of Justice claims there is nothing left and said Reverend Willard Jones wiped the bank account clean. The Department of Justice claims there is nothing left and said Reverend Willard Jones wiped the bank account clean.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Close to a million dollars was stolen from the Greater Cornerstone Community Center in Tulsa. The Department of Justice said the man responsible for the theft is the center's former director, Pastor Willard Lenord Jones.

The Department of Justice claims there is nothing left and said Jones wiped the bank account clean.

Investigators believe that from 2007 through 2013, Jones took $933,000 from the community center's account and spent it on things like luxury cars, gambling and a mink coat.

8/13/2014 Related Story: Tulsa Pastor Indicted For Embezzling More Than $900,000

“What we do is try to provide the needed services in this community that they don’t have access to,” said Greater Cornerstone Community Center Executive Director, Lewis Wilson.

That’s the simple goal according to Wilson. They provide after school programs, recreational space and healthcare.

Before Lewis, it was Jones overseeing the place, and for close to six years he was believed to be raising money for it through a number of donors and community groups.

Investigators said, however, most of that time Jones was funneling the money into his own pockets.

“Reverend Jones concealed his actions from the donors which included foundations, corporations, churches and individuals,” said U.S. Attorney, Danny Williams. “Based on our investigation there are no funds left.”

Williams said Jones would fraudulently transfer funds from the community center account into his church account, and then move that money into his personal account.

“He was spending stolen funds on hotels, restaurants, gambling at casinos, liquor, automobiles, and luxury items," said Williams

The tip off came to investigators when they said Jones asked for more money to get the center open when there should've been more than enough available.

“Led to internal audit, that audit showed, based on information that was provided to them, that about $500,000 was missing,” Williams said. ”Reverend Jones would not cooperate with that audit and subsequently the FBI was contacted.”

So where does that leave the sanctuary for so many community members that depended on it?

When asked if the center was in jeopardy, Wilson didn’t have a comment, but he did say, “We are moving forward, been moving forward since last year with our programs and with our activities.”

If Jones is convicted he could face more than 60 years in prison. He's scheduled for court next week.

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