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HUNTINGTON — A Cabell County man on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a fraud charge in federal court in Huntington, admitting he took nearly $500,000 from a church where he had volunteered.

Robert Dale Adkins, 75, of Ona, was charged via information last month with one count of mail fraud. An information is typically filed after a suspect agrees to enter a plea without a grand jury indictment and shows cooperation in the case.

As part of the plea deal, Adkins admitted he had embezzled approximately $487,488.92 from Antioch Baptist Church in Ona.

He faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on May 18. He also will be required to pay restitution in the full amount stolen to the church, and is subject to forfeiture of an equal amount to the United States.

According to the charge against him, from 2012 to the end of 2018, Adkins wrote checks from a City National Bank checking account belonging to the church to his personal creditors without the church congregation’s knowledge. Adkins worked as a volunteer treasurer for the church and was not entitled to a salary or payment for his services to the church at the time. He did, however, have access to the church’s checkbook and financial records through his position, according to federal prosecutors.

Specifically, the mail fraud charge stems from the defendant allegedly mailing a church check in December 2018 to a Texas creditor to pay his monthly vehicle payment on a 2016 Ford Escape.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter

@HesslerHD.

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