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Escaped Fraud Convict Assaults Arresters

Churches among Wayne Milton's victims

May 25, 2006

By staff

A Georgia man has been sentenced for committing mortgage fraud after escaping from the prison where he was serving a mortgage fraud sentence.

Wayne Sherrod Milton was sentenced today to serve 20 years and one month in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Atlanta.

"This defendant is a dangerous con man and he deserves to be locked up for many years," said U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias in the statement. "This case is aggravated by many factors, including the continued mortgage fraud committed by a defendant already serving a mortgage fraud sentence, his escape from federal custody to commit additional crimes, and his aggravated assault on the Deputy US Marshal trying to arrest him."

The Stone Mountain man broke out of prison, where he was serving a mortgage fraud sentence, the announcement said. He had previously pleaded guilty in 2005 to his role in a more than $20 million scheme on dozens of properties, including a church.

As a fugitive, Milton reportedly pretended to hold a Bachelors of Theology and a Doctorate of Divinity from Georgia universities and fraudulently collected fees from churches where he served as a pastor. He traveled through seven states to dupe churches and religious organizations into believing that he would deliver $200 million in grant funding in exchange for smaller payments, known as "administrative fees."

He delivered a number of $25 million cashiers checks -- but they were counterfeit.

When federal marshals caught up with Milton in Pelham, Ga., he tried to run over one deputy while fleeing at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, the Department of Justice said.

He was eventually apprehended in a cotton field.

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