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Man who said he was missionary accused in $30M scam that was supposed to send Bibles to China

Jason Gerald Shenk is accused of buying diamonds and gold and gambling with money that was donated by people who thought they were sending religious materials to China.

A Georgia man who is considered a fugitive has been indicted on accusations that he "misdirected" $30 million from Christians who thought they were buying Bibles for China, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Instead, Jason Gerald Shenk used $1 million in payments to an online gambling site; bought diamonds, gold, and life insurance policies; and made payments to the company running his family farm among other purchases, officials say.

Jill Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, in a statement called the case “an egregious breach” of trust.

Jason Gerald Shenk.
Jason Gerald Shenk.U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia

Shenk, 45, got the money from groups and individuals in Ohio and North Carolina who believed the money would buy Bibles and religious literature for people in China, prosecutors said.

The former Dublin, Georgia, resident presented himself as a missionary, according to the indictment.

He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2016, and the Justice Department says warrants have been issued for his arrest, according to the indictment and prosecutors.

Shenk has been indicted on four counts of wire fraud and 37 counts of money laundering, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

There is no attorney for him listed in online court records. Prosecutors said he is being sought internationally.