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Man sentenced in scheme involving relative's church

Man's mother scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 11

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SAN ANTONIO – A man was sentenced Wednesday for scheming with his mother to steal more than $1 million from a church owned by his grandfather, authorities said.

Brennan Diaz, 24, was sentenced to 56 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

A U.S. district judge also ordered that Diaz pay $985,346.06 in restitution. The U.S. Attorney's Office said the restitution figure does not include seized assets valued at more than $100,000, which were returned to the victim.

Diaz pleaded guilty Sept. 20 to one count of bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of money laundering. The U.S. Attorney's Office said his mother, Deborah Diaz, pleaded guilty June 30 to one count of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

By pleading guilty, they both admitted that between February 2015 and October 2015, they conspired to defraud the La Obra Milagrosa Church, which is also known as The Miracle Center (TMC) Church. The U.S. Attorney's Office said neither had authority to sign TMC Church checks. However, they forged the family member's signature on dozens of TMC business checks, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Deborah Diaz is currently out on bond. The U.S. Attorney's Office said she is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 11.


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