Former Grandview, Mo. mayor sentenced to federal prison for fraud

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former western Missouri mayor who admitted setting up a phony charity is going to prison for using $35,000 in donations for his own expenses.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 51-year-old Stephen Dennis, of Grandview, was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in federal prison without parole. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud in February, a month after he resigned as Grandview’s mayor.

Dennis created a corporation called Matters of the Heart, which he described as a nonprofit charitable organization to serve poor people. He admitted in his plea that he solicited donations and accepted two checks totaling $35,000 from International House of Prayer, also based in Grandview.

Prosecutors said Dennis used the donations for his own benefit, including his family’s living expenses, rather than for any charitable purpose.