Accountant who stole $4M from religious center gets prison

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A California certified public accountant who stole more than $4 million from a religious center in New Jersey has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that Donald Gridiron must also pay about $5.1 million in restitution.

The 51-year-old Pomona man had pleaded guilty in September to wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

Prosecutors say Gridiron used his job with the worship center in Rahway and his status with a California nonprofit to illegally syphon money without their consent. They say he transferred more than $4 million overall to accounts he controlled.

Gridiron used the funds for personal expenses, including mortgage payments, luxury car payments and gambling. He also failed to report the income on his tax returns.