Wade on Birmingham

Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks: Samuel Pettagrue


In August, we’re celebrating Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks, whether they be liars, thieves, extortionists, swindlers or thugs. A 30-part series running daily until Birmingham mayor Larry Langford’s Aug. 31 Oct. 19 federal trial. Thanks to Bhamwiki for helping with this project.

Samuel Pettagrue

Samuel PettagruePositions held: pastor of Sardis Missionary Baptist Church

Wanted for: bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering

Date of conviction: Jan. 21

Sentence: 5 years probation, including 1 year of home detention, $366,000 in restitution. Prosecutors, who had sought 14 years imprisonment, voiced disappointment at the sentence, which took into account his numerous health problems.

Criminally fun fact: Pettagrue worked with state senator E.B. McClain, who passed along $760,000 funds to the community program Heritage to Hope Foundation, run by Pettagrue and intended to tutor high school dropouts.

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