The former director of communications for the Church of God in Cleveland, Tenn., will serve nearly three years in prison and repay nearly $1 million he embezzled from the church, court documents show.
Troy Scot Carter was sentenced Thursday to 36 months in prison, $880,000 in restitution and three years' probation in U.S. District Court.
Court documents say that, as director of communication, Carter "would embezzle money from the Church of God by various devices, including by presenting false and fabricated bills to the Church of God for audiovisual services that claimed funds the Church of God did not owe."
When the swindle first came to light in March, officials said the amount was about $100,000. They said he submitted false invoices for services his production company contracted to provide to a conference at Oral Roberts University in 2010.
But in April, Carter pleaded guilty to stealing $889,766 from the church. He could have been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
The Church of God's International Executive Committee released a statement saying the organization had cooperated fully with the federal investigation and that much of the stolen money was covered by insurance.
"The Church will continue in its effort to be transparent in all of these matters and to implement policies and practices which protect monies donated to the Church," according to the statement. "The Church also commits to pray for and minister to Mr. Carter and we ask that prayer be made for all concerned."
Carter was ordered to report to prison on Sept. 14.