The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 21, 2013

Police: Man stole $60G from nonprofit group

WINDBER — A Windber man is accused of stealing more than $60,000 from a Central City nonprofit organization.

State police in Somerset said Justin Michael Wirick, 26, stole money from Angels of East Africa from December 2010 to December 2012.

Wirick is related to the organization’s founder, Sam Chil­ders, who also is known as the “Machine Gun Preacher,” investigators confirmed.

A person from the organization contacted authorities and expressed concern about missing money.

The caller was advised to have an audit conducted, Somerset County District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser said.    

The audit was carried out by Schneider Downs & Co. Inc. of Pittsburgh.

“As a result of the forensic audit, charges were filed,” Lazzari-Strasiser said.

Wirick is accused of misappropriating $60,997.

Wirick admitted taking the funds and said his action was because “(Childers) didn’t pay us enough,” troopers said in the criminal complaint.

Wirick, of the 3800 block of Graham Avenue, was arraigned Wednesday by on-call District Judge Sandra Stevanus of Confluence on charges of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. He was released on unsecured bond.

He was accused in December of assaulting a woman inside a home on Bunker Hill Road.

Police said that during that incident, Wirick grabbed a loaded gun and threatened to shoot himself.

Wirick later pleaded guilty to violating a protection from abuse order.

Childers is a former drug dealer and onetime biker gang member who became a born-again Christian. The Central City-area preacher gained fame by saving many children in the war-torn African nation of Sudan.

Wirick could not be reached for comment. His telephone was disconnected.

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