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Mar 15, 2013 8:44 AM by AP

E. Feliciana preacher pleads in money-swap scheme

ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. (AP) - An East Feliciana Parish minister has pleaded "no contest" to felony theft in connection with a scheme to illegally transfer funds from a nonprofit organization to private hands.

Until the Rev. George Veal, of Ethel, entered the plea on Thursday, he had been scheduled for trial next week.

The Advocate reports state police arrested seven people in 2010, including Veal, former East Feliciana School Board member Oliver Wingfield and former West Feliciana Parish Police Juror John Cobb, after investigating the finances of Cobb's church, Union Bethel Family Church, in Weyanoke.

State police investigators accused Veal and Wingfield of giving $80,000 in insurance money to Cobb's church in return for Cobb kicking back $25,000 to each to them through other parties.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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