NEWPORT NEWS (AP) -- A Suffolk man who helped the owner of a Virginia-based religious broadcasting company defraud investors of nearly $550,000 is set to learn his fate.

Christopher Rice is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Newport News on Wednesday for his conviction in the fraud scheme, which targeted local pastors and their congregations.

Rice and Samuel B. Jacobs of Hampton convinced more than 80 people to invest through their business, Alliance Financial Services Corporation. The money was instead spent on personal and business expenses without the investors being told, including payments made on Jacobs' house and 36-foot boat.

The repaid initial investors with new investor money to keep the scheme afloat for nearly three years.

Jacobs was sentenced last week to 12 years in prison. He was owner of WJHJ.

AP-WF-02-27-13 0816GMT

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