Hanover pastor stole from church, paid woman to keep sexual transgressions quiet

Posted at 12:42 PM, Nov 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-25 14:28:49-05
Chris Allen Phillips (PHOTO: Hanover Sheriff's Office)

Chris Allen Phillips (PHOTO: Hanover Sheriff’s Office)

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A Mechanicsville pastor involved in a sex-for-money scheme pleaded guilty to stealing from his church. Chris Allen Phillips was convicted on a felony embezzlement charge.

Phillips took $80,000 from Mechanicsville Advent Christian Church when a woman he met online and paid for sex threatened she’d come forward and expose his actions.

Tonya Farnsworth

Tonya Farnsworth (PHOTO: Hanover Sheriff’s Office)

Last month Tonya Farnsworth, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of extortion.

Detectives said when Farnsworth met Phillips, 50, online he agreed to pay her $200 for oral sex.

In the end detectives said Phillips paid Farnsworth $100,000 to keep quiet.

Farnsworth faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced in January. Phillips will be sentenced in February.