A former Baptist missionary for the Richmond-based International Mission Board was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison in a wire fraud scheme that netted $284,479.
Brady Nurse, 38, of Bothell, Wash., pleaded guilty to wire fraud in October and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer for obtaining the money through 135 fraudulent expense reimbursement requests for several years starting in 2008.
Court documents show the board is part of the Southern Baptist Convention with more than 40,000 churches and nearly 16 million members. The board has 4,800 missionaries worldwide. Nurse resigned in January 2014.
Nurse served as the logistics coordinator in Portugal, responsible for making payments for himself, other missionaries and the mission board while overseas. He was also responsible for the financial support activities for mission board field personnel in Portugal.
As a logistics coordinator, Nurse was paid on an as-needed basis, for field personnel housing, car maintenance, applicable taxes and major purchases, prosecutors said.
He admitted that when an authorized expense was incurred, he would prepare a reimbursement request that would end up in Richmond and was paid from Richmond through electronic transfers.
An internal audit of the board detected Nurse’s fraud and reported it to the FBI. In pleading guilty, he admitted to using such schemes as increasing amounts due on invoices.
He was also reimbursed for such nonreimbursable expenses as a jewelry purchase disguised as vehicle painting. The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by S. David Schiller, an assistant U.S. attorney.