Cleveland pastor charged with failing to pay more than $90K in income taxes

CLEVELAND - The senior pastor of a Cleveland church is facing federal charges for allegedly not paying more than $90,000 in income taxes.

Charles Matthews of Solon was the senior pastor of Mount Sinai Baptist Church and Ministries in Cleveland, according to the information filed in court Tuesday.

Matthews was in charge of two financial accounts at the church – one for the church itself and one for his own use, dubbed a pastor's account.

The information alleged that while Mt. Sinai deducted and collected the required income tax and FICA withholdings from the total taxable wages of its employees, Matthews "willfully failed to report and pay over to the Internal Revenue Service those withheld taxes."

Prosecutors alleged Matthews instead "caused those funds to be used for other purposed including transfers into the pastor's account for his own personal use."

According to the information, Matthews also failed to report and pay the employer's share of FICA taxes.

The total amount prosecutors said Matthews failed to pay between October 2005 and January 2007 was $90,767.43.

Matthews is facing six counts in the information. It's not clear yet if a court date has been set.

According to the church's website, Dr. C. Jay Matthews was named pastor of the church in January 1988.

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