Reno man on trial on faith-based fraud charges

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Updated: 3/18/2014 12:27 pm

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Jury selection has begun for the trial of a Reno businessman accused of defrauding the government by falsely obtaining $200,000 in grant money through a faith-based initiative at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Mike Stickler pleaded not guilty after a federal grand jury indicted him in November 2012 on charges he stole, embezzled and converted to his own use the federal grants he obtained in 2007 and 2008 for his organization, Faith Based Solutions.

Among other things, he claimed he was raising money to help build homes in Haiti.

The Reno-Gazette Journal first reported in 2011 that most of the payroll at Stickler's group went to Stickler, his wife and two children. Stickler's lawyer said in court filings his bookkeeper was to blame for any missing money.

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