Pastor sentenced for mail fraud, filing false tax return - KMOV.com

Pastor sentenced for mail fraud, filing false tax return

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The BBB is warning against investing money in the Stafford Financial Firm, run by Pastor Mark Stafford (pictured). Credit: KMOV The BBB is warning against investing money in the Stafford Financial Firm, run by Pastor Mark Stafford (pictured). Credit: KMOV

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A St. Louis-area pastor was sentenced to 51 months in prison for mail fraud and filing a false tax return.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) previously issued a warning about doing business with Mark Stafford who pleaded guilty in federal court in March.

He also admitted to taking $1.26 million from 31 victims between 2007 and 2016.

In court, the prosecution said Stafford used his position as a pastor to gain trust and that he never actually opened accounts for clients and instead used funds for his personal benefit. Stafford then told the judge he agreed with the facts presented by the prosecution. 

Stafford was released following the guilty plea. He will be sentenced in June. He would not answer questions from our reporter on what he did with the money, instead referring News4 to his attorney. 

His attorney, Scott Rosenblum said over the phone that his client is remorseful. 

"Mr. Stafford got overwhelmed, he will try his best to restore the people who lost money," said Rosenblum. 

The BBB told investors to be wary of doing business with The Stafford Financial Firm after a father and daughter claimed he took off with their life savings.

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