Former Baptist Foundation execs sentenced - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Former Baptist Foundation execs sentenced

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Posted: Friday, September 29, 2006 4:44 pm | Updated: 2:48 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Baptist Foundation of Arizona's former president was sentenced Friday to eight years in state prison, and the group's former general counsel received a term of six years.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fields gave both men harsher sentences than what the law typically calls for.

Former president William Crotts, 61, and former general counsel Thomas Grabinski, 46, were convicted of commiting fraud and knowingly conducting an illegal enterprise.

"I thought it was a fair judgment," said Scottsdale resident Katy Moss, 81. She said invested $250,000 in the foundation and got back about 53 percent of that money.

Crotts' sister, Gwen, called the harsh sentences unfair.

"A sentence of eight year won't relieve them of the bitterness toward the Baptist Foundation of Arizona or restore their faith."

Prosecutor Donald Conrad alleged in court that investors were told the nonprofit Baptist Foundation was solvent, although Crotts and Grabinski knew it was not. The nonprofit was founded to raise money for Southern Baptist causes, such as building churches. As many as 13,000 investors lost an estimated $500 million to $600 million when the foundation collapsed in November 1999. Many investors say that they recovered about 70 percent of their losses.

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