• Former Southlake Christian headmaster sentenced after embezzling $9 million


    HUNTERSVILLE, N.C - A federal judge sentenced Wayne Parker Jr. to five years in prison after he took $9 million dollars from Southlake Christian Academy and church to fund his lavish lifestyle.

    Parker pleaded guilty to the charges in July.

    He became headmaster of Southlake Christian in Huntersville in 1996. He stepped down in 2014 after Southlake officials launched an investigation into the discovery of missing funds.

    Tara Reeves has two teenagers at the Christian school. She told Channel 9 the whole incident has been a teachable moment for her children.

    "To sit them down and say men and women will fail you, but the Lord, Jesus Christ never will," Reeves said.

    A criminal complaint showed that Parker stole funds to pay for everything from homes, to luxury vehicles, to Carolina Panther’s preferred seat licenses. Investigators said he built at least two homes for his family with school and church money.

    New court documents filed Wednesday showed Parker joined the church in 1991 and then became a volunteer treasurer, giving him control over the church bank accounts. The documents also revealed Parker gave additional paychecks to a co-conspirator and even paid for that person's personal expenses, college tuition and medical bills. Prosecutors have not revealed that person's identity yet.  

    Prosecutors said that in 2000, four years after taking over as headmaster, he was living in a trailer. They said he used some of the funds to build a 3,140 square foot house.

    Prosecutors said the case is still under investigation.

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