After he skipped his sentencing hearing last week, a federal judge in Charlotte issued a fugitive warrant for 52-year-old John Bridges. Bridges had entered into a plea deal related to federal white collar crimes he had committed against charities and friends, to the tune of approximately $2 million.
Bridges was found and arrested at a church in Salisbury, North Carolina after a brief standoff with police. He was initially expected to spend five or six years in prison on the federally-charged financial crimes. Missing his sentencing hearing and getting into an armed standoff with police is likely to increase the amount of time he will spend behind bars for his crimes.
A Charlotte native, Bridges served on the board of directors for the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation. In this position, Bridges embezzled approximately $600,000 from the Foundation, whose mission includes preserving North Carolina's transportation history, including buildings and equipment.
In addition to taking money from the Museum Foundation, Bridges was accused of taking another $600,000 from a local artist.
Bridges pled guilty to federal white collar crime charges including money laundering and securities fraud. Money laundering, defined most simply, is the act of concealing where money came from when it was obtained illegally or by illicit means.
Source: WAVY, "Church standoff ends with arrest of NC man," January 27, 2012