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Christian charity director pleads guilty to filing false tax return


The former director of a Christian charity admitted embezzling over $475,000 to pay for his sex addiction on Monday. The Cedar Rapids man, Jon S. Petersen, was the president of World Ambassadors, a group that provides international students with religious outreach on college campuses.

Nonprofit status for the group was revoked in 2010 by the IRS after repeatedly failing to file required annual financial statements on income and spending.

Petersen admitted diverting over $114,000 in World Ambassadors donations to his personal bank account.

Petersen started the charity in 1993 with his wife. He faces a three-year mandatory minimum sentence without possibility of parole, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to one year supervised release. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Petersen faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in federal prison without the possibility of parole, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 1 year supervised release following any imprisonment. The judge has not set a sentencing date.

Photo by Jim Hammer
Photo by Jim Hammer

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