Feds: Chicago pastor stole from food program for needy kids

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors allege that a Chicago pastor stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from a food program that helps feed needy children.

An indictment alleges that Clarence Smith Jr. fraudulently received more than $900,000 that New Life Community Ministries had gotten from a federally-funded food program through the Illinois State Board of Education.

Prosecutors say he used $142,000 of that money to buy himself a luxury car, a Bentley.

Investigators say he tried to cover that up by claiming his financial records were damaged in a flood.

The 45-year-old pastor tells WLS-TV that he denies “any and all allegations of fraud.”