HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Reverend Kenneth Fairley is on trial this week and is accused of two counts of theft of government funds and also conspiracy to defraud the government.
Fairley is accused of using money received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through funds administered by the city of Hattiesburg.
HUD Special Agent, Robert Weeks, a former Hattiesburg police officer took the stand Thursday.
Weeks testified back in April 2014, Artie Fletcher's attorney asked him to pick up a phone recording between Fletcher and Fairley in New Orleans.
The prosecutors played the lengthy phone recording for the jurors. The phone call revealed Fairley telling Fletcher that Fairley's organization, Pinebelt, owes Fletcher $150,000.
During the phone recording Fairley told Fletcher he wants to make sure he does due diligence and is not "jail bound."
Fairley said, "I want to make sure I am not doing anything illegal."
Fletcher responded to Fairley, "The longer a file stays open the worse it gets." Fletcher added during the conversation, "Money is owed and nothing is wrong with memorializing it."
Fairley's attorneys cross-examined Weeks, Weeks claimed the victims in this crime are the taxpayers and minority community who were not able to use the homes that were rehabilitated by HUD funds.