Self-proclaimed preacher accused of stealing $60K from veteran pleads guilty

A self-proclaimed preacher, John Stephenson is accused of stealing from a veteran.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 4:55 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:24 PM EDT
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BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX) - A self-proclaimed preacher is pleading guilty to charges in connection with stealing from a Vietnam veteran.

John Stephenson pleaded guilty to exploitation of an adult and theft in Boone County, according to court records from Boone County.

Prosecutors said Stephenson manipulated 78-year-old Darris Beach into giving him access to his finances so he could steal $60,000 from Beach’s account.

Beach, a Vietnam veteran, has been in hospice because of health issues and noticed the money missing from his account, his longtime friend Bill Price told FOX19 NOW in 2022.

Price, who has the power of attorney for the veteran, said Stephenson wiped out Beach’s life savings.

Stephenson was indicted in 2022 and now after pleading guilty, is being ordered to pay back the $60,000.

As part of his guilty plea, court records say Stephenson must go through a five-year pretrial diversion program.

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