Maryland Pastor receives 2 year sentence for concealing assets
Robert J. Freeman, a charming Southern Maryland pastor and televangelist, was sentenced to more than two years in prison on Monday in a related bankruptcy case. According to prosecutors, he hid church assets to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts. In a statement, Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod. J. Rosenstein said, “Freeman lived a life of fraud and deception, using millions of dollars from church members, and fraudulently obtained credit to pay for luxury cars and a mansion while falsely representing in court that he was indigent.”
Freeman, 56, who led the Save the Seed ministry in Waldrof, drove extravagant cars and lived in a $1.75 million home, which has five fire places, a jet-ski lift, and two four-car garages, on the Potomac River. In U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Freeman took full responsibility for lying during bankruptcy proceedings, but said his congregation willingly funded purchases on behalf of the church. “I did all this publicly,” he told the judge. “There wasn’t nothing shady about it.” However, District Judge Roger W. Titus said, “The essence of this crime was taking advantage of unwitting people.” Freeman reportedly ordered church members to take out loans to purchase the cars, including a Bentley and a Maybach, as well as the mansion. He also convinced another church member to lease or buy three more Mercedes Benzes and a Lincoln Navigator, prosecutors said.