How common is church embezzlement? “About 1 in 10 Protestant churches has had someone embezzle funds, according to a new survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors from LifeWay Research” according to a report in Christianity Today. Approximately 80% of embezzlement goes unreported to police. Clearly what is presented here is a very, very small sampling of cases. Because embezzlement can continue undetected for years, entries are sorted by the supposed ‘year of last alleged illegal activity’ for that church. Recent years might appear to have fewer cases due to the typical delay in detecting the crime of embezzlement.
Some cases are only reported by Church Crime Information’s on our “scandal” page. This is because church attempts to keep crimes quiet thus protecting their financial base and name brand.
Most entries on these pages only contain arrests, charges, or indictments, which may eventually be reduced, dropped, or expunged, and as such, these actors may in fact be innocent in a court of law.
These are just a few of the embezzlement incidents we have identified. There are many more to be uploaded, so please check back. Please click on each link to read the underlying news report. If you are looking for a name, use ‘control-F’ to search the list.
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, New York, NY. George Papadakos (Chief Financial Officer) pled guilty to embezzlement of $66,499. He also pled guilty to wire fraud in federal court. Ex-financial director embezzled $66K from Greek Orthodox churches.
- New Day Fellowship Church, Eureka Springs, AR. George Darryl Harris (former pastor) arrested and charged with “theft of property and financial identity fraud.” The pastor allegedly confessed in a written affidavit. The loss was alleged to be nearly $70,000. Former pastor accused of stealing nearly $70,000 from local church.
- Valley Christian Church, Kingman, AZ. Melissa Sistar (former treasurer) pled guilty to “criminal impersonation.” This was “for changing the value” on a check. She had convictions in 2007 and 2009—”one for theft and one for forgery.” Former church treasurer sentenced to jail, probation.
- Bethel Lighthouse Baptist Church, Marietta, WV. Betty Wheaton (former treasurer) pled guilty to embezzling $515,283.71 over the last seven years. Former church treasurer sentenced for embezzlement.
- St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Allentown, PA. Charmarie Colon (office administrator) charged with unauthorized credit card use in excess of $100,000. Woman charged with stealing over $100,000 from Allentown church.
- Word of Faith Fellowship, Spindale, NC. Diane McKinny (pastor’s employee) has been charged federally for abusing unemployment insurance. She was also corporate secretary to her pastor in his private business. They essentially filed false unemployment claims, collecting the payments while keeping the employees on the job at the pastor’s business. Member of secretive church set to enter plea in fraud case.
- Wayland United Methodist Church, Floyd County, KY. Denver “Dicky” Tackett (pastor & dentist) was charged in federal court with “needlessly pulling teeth” and prescribing unneeded opiate painkillers. He was indicted. Kentucky dentist, who’s a pastor, charged with pulling teeth needlessly for profit.
- Antioch Baptist Church, New London, MO. Donald Ray White (deacon and treasurer) charged in federal court with embezzlement in excess of $300,000. Hannibal-area church treasurer arrested after funds go missing.
- Home of Christ 4 Christian Church, Saratoga, CA. Jonathan Chang (financial elder) was convicted in federal court of “wire fraud and money laundering.” It is estimated that he embezzled nearly $900,000. Cupertino Man Convicted In Church Fraud Scheme: DOJ.
- Antioch Baptist Church, Saluda, SC. R.C. Oglesby (pastor) arrested in an alleged shoplifting and racketeering scheme involving “EBT card fraud.” The pastor was also an elected county commissioner. His son and others were also charged. Hart County commissioner, son arrested during raids after 6-month investigation, sheriff says.
- McCauley’s Chapel Methodist Church, Gadsden, AL. Deborah K. Coker (former bookkeeper/treasurer) arrested on allegations of theft of nearly $270,000 over ten years. Bookkeeper accused of taking almost $270,000 from church.
- St. Paul’s Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Farmington Hills, MI. Edgar Zarins (treasurer) plead no contest to embezzling at least $183,290. Probation-restitution ordered in church embezzlement case.
- Bethel Lutheran Church, Graettinger, IA. Andrew Matheason (treasurer) was never arrested, but received a civil judgement against him. Iowa church leader accused of embezzlement hit with $2.4M judgement.
- St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, Blue Springs, MO. Unnamed church secretary agreed to repay funds. Church employee embezzled more than $400,000 from Blue Springs parish, officials say.
- St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Ocean City, MD. Teresa M. Kolacz (church employee) arrested for stealing over $100,000. Church employee arrested in embezzlement case.
- First Presbyterian Church, Pikeville, FL. Michelle Allen & John Allen (church employees) arrested. Woman on the run in Pikeville church embezzlement captured in Florida
- Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Atkinson, WI. Bryan Engfer (former pastor) arrested. Fort Atkinson PD investigates local pastor for stealing church funds.
- San Angelo Cowboy Church, San Angelo, TX. Carla Jo Yancy (former financial administrator) arrested for stealing over $30,000 in currency. Former finance official at San Angelo Cowboy Church charged with embezzling $30K to $150K.
- First Assembly of God church, Springdale, AR. Andra Nicole Smith (treasurer) pled guilty to embezzlement. The loss is believed to be a little over $400,000. Fayetteville woman ordered to repay more than $400,000 stolen from Springdale church.
- Unity of Wichita Church, Wichita, KS. Garland Egerton (bookkeeper) embezzled over $100,000 by writing checks to himself. Ex-director of Inter-Faith Ministries gets probation after stealing $100,000 from church.
- Anointed Vision Church, Norcross, GA. Melva Washington (unknown) arrested on forgery charges. Her church was being used as a front for her tax preparation service, daycare, and law practice. Gwinnett County church busted for fraud, forgery, police say.
- Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene, Rogersville, MO. Shauna Haile (ex-treasurer) pled guilty to “forgery and stealing.” Ex-church treasurer pleads guilty in theft case out of Rogersville, Mo.
- Derry Presbyterian Church, Derry Borough, MA. Teri E. Sauers (treasurer) arrested for alleged “theft and receiving stolen property.” She admitted to the theft. Former treasurer of Derry church accused of stealing $20K.
- St. John Lutheran Church, Bellefonte, PA. Charles Kormanski (treasurer) arrested for writing himself 379 checks, with a loss of nearly $170,000. Treasurer stole nearly $170K from Bellefonte church, police said.
- St. Vincent de Paul, Sheboygan County, WI. Donna LaRue (treasurer) arrested for embezzlement. The loss was in excess of $500,000. Prosecutors: Woman hired as bookkeeper at St. Vincent de Paul embezzled $500K+.
- Covenant Presbyterian Church, Monroe, LA. Walter James Ernst (treasurer) was arrested on charges of embezzling $16,000. Church treasurer took $16K: OPSO.
- Open Bible Church, denominational headquarters, Des Moines, IA. Michelene Diane Kinning (accountant) charged with theft totaling approximately $190,000. Police: Des Moines accountant stole more than $200,000 from Open Bible Churches over a decade.
- Word of Faith Fellowship, Spindale, NC. Kent Covington (minister) plead guilty to “conspiracy to commit mail fraud” in an unemployment fraud scheme in the amount of $466,960. Minister at secretive N Carolina church sentenced for fraud.
- First Indian Baptist Church, Moore, OK. Marsha Jones and Barbara Colbert (co-treasurers) charged with embezzlement. Combined, the total loss was $134,000. Former co-treasurers accused of stealing $134K from small Moore church.
- Ministerial Alliance Whitney, Whitney, TX. Pamela June Alberts (treasurer) arrested after confessing to embezzling approximately $85,000. The money was used by the church nonprofit to be “used to help citizens of the community with their water, rent and gas bills.” Treasurer arrested after admitting to stealing money from local church organization.
- Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, Henagar, AL. Carlton Lamar Marks (treasurer) was indicted on charges he stole $200,000. DeKalb County church treasurer indicted over $200K theft of church funds.
- St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Onalaska, WI. Barbara L. Snyder (church secretary) plead guilty to “wire fraud and making false statements” and was “ordered to repay” the debt. Former Onalaska church secretary gets four years in prison for theft of more than $800,000
- St. Martha’s Catholic Church, Okemos, MI. Jonathan Wehrle (priest) arrested on charges of embezzling more than $5M. Embezzlement trial postponed until next year for Michigan priest.
- Cave Rock Baptist Church, Troutville, VA. Stephanie Everett (church treasurer) sentenced for embezzling $99,000. Treasurer sent to prison for embezzling nearly $100,000 from Botetourt church.
- Rex Church, Clayton County, GA. Sherie Britton (former church administrator) plead guilty to embezzling at least $315,000. Former church administrator pleads guilty to embezzling church funds.
- St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Rice Lake, WI. Deborah R.A. Marcellus (church development director) and Dwight H. Schuebel, both charged in civil suit. “Marcellus is charged in federal court with seven counts of wire fraud.” Loss amount was $822,900. Bank account money held in church embezzlement case.
- First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Beach City, OH. Amanda L. Galay-Fimple (church bookkeeper) pled guilty to bank fraud for stealing $110,000. Investigation into missing church funds could take months.
- First Congregational United Church of Christ, Coloma, MI. Cecily Cogswell-Finehout (church treasurer) $42,055 lost. Treasurer. Treasurer of Coloma church sentenced for embezzlement.
- First United Methodist Church, Bethlehem, GA. Nikki Shelton (chief financial officer) arrested for embezzling about $80,000. Church CFO arrested for embezzling funds
- Lighthouse Assembly of God, Muskogee, OK. Toni Danielle Hodgson (position unknown) arrested and plead guilty of embezzlement of $10,000. Accused embezzler licensed as ‘mortgage loan originator’.
- First Christian Church, Princeton, WV. Christopher L. Stansell (pastor) arrested for embezzling in excess of $10,000. Former pastor arrested for embezzling church funds.
- First Presbyterian Church, Peachtree City, GA. Alana Vines (bookkeeper) convicted of embezzling approximately $420,620. Prosecutor: Church bookkeeper stole over $400,000.
- Mayfair Church of Christ, Huntsville, TX. Gary “Tripp” Bradley III (church member) charged for embezzling $20,300. North Alabama man accused of stealing $20K from church.
- First Baptist Church of Houston, TX. Jerrell Altic (former pastor) sentenced for embezzling roughly $800,000. Ex-pastor sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing $800,000 from Texas megachurch.
- First Congregational United Church of Christ, Coloma, CA. Cecily Cogswell-Finehout (treasurer) sentenced for embezzling $42,000. Berrien County church treasurer gets jail after more than $40,000 missing.
- First Christian Church, Garden Grove, CA. Moeiletafa Mauga (treasurer) pled guilty to embezzling in excess of $227,000. She opened a new bank account and gave herself a debit card which she used to pilfer the funds, in part to feed a gambling addiction. Treasurer pleads guilty, sentenced to probation for embezzling $227,000-plus from Garden Grove church.
- First Presbyterian Church, Clarksville, TN. Connie Parker (treasurer) arrested for theft of nearly $498,000. Former Church Treasurer Arrested On Theft Charge.
- Dacus Baptist Church, Houston, TX. Blake Mayon and Naomi Johnston (storm refugees/employee) arrested for theft of “tools, equipment, electronics and the church’s sound system.” Harvey victims arrested, accused of stealing from church.
- Dry Prong Church, Dry Prong, Grant Parish, LA. Annette Slayter (treasurer) for charges related to the embezzlement, including identity theft and forgery. Dry Prong Church Treasurer Steals from Local Church.
- First Church of Deerfield, Deerfield, MA. Jeanne Elizabeth Grover (treasurer) indicted for embezzlement in excess of $30,000 from a condo association and $3,000 from the church’s weekly donations. Deerfield woman charged with embezzling from church.
- Whitcomb United Methodist Church, Brookville, IN. Steve Brack (trustee) pled guilty to stealing in excess of $5,000. He also pled guilty earlier to stealing from the Brookville Kiwanis Club, a civic organization. Embezzling Church Treasurer Sentenced To Home Detention, Community Service.
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, New York, NY. Jerry Dimitriou (former executive director) has been charged with embezzlement using multiple schemes. Jerry Dimitriou Arrested and Charged with Two Embezzlement Schemes (Adds).
- Grace Lutheran Church, Vestal, NY. Nathan Walz (treasurer) arrested for embezzlement of $250,000. The church burned in 2015, but money has been flowing through the building fund. DA: Treasurer stole $250k from Vestal church destroyed by fire.
- First Christian Church of Garden Grove, Garden Grove, MO. Moeiletafa Mauga (treasurer) pled guilty of embezzling in excess of $225,000. Garden Grove Church Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement.
- First Baptist Church, Desloge, MO. Dayna Horn (church secretary) arrested for embezzling $21,352. Woman embezzled from church, charges filed .
- Metropolitan Community Church, Portland, OR. Christine Marie Culver (bookkeeper) embezzled $73,000 and this is the third time she’s been caught. Ex-con trusted with church finances embezzles again, gets 3 years’ prison.
- Hookerton Christian Church, Hookerton, NC. Ronald Harper (church treasurer) arrested for embezzling “nearly $20,000. Hookerton Christian Church treasure arrested in embezzlement case.
- Girard United Methodist Church, Coldwater, MI. Melissa Ann Rogers (church secretary) arrested for embezzling more than $37,000. Long-time church secretary charged with embezzling tens of thousands of dollars.
- Cathedral Pioneer Church Homes Inc., Sacramento, CA. Kevin Marcus Manz (financial manager) arrested for grand theft. Arrest made in alleged embezzlement from Sacramento organizations.
- Friendship Baptist Church, LaGrange, GA. . John Dewayne Murphy (treasurer) plead guilty for embezzling $80,000. Man sentenced for stealing church money.
- Crossroads Christian Church, St. Leonard, MD. Michael Shawn Holcomb (pastor) and Rayanne Carson (secretary) arrested and charged for a loss of nearly $70,000. Former pastor, secretary, charged with theft, embezzlement.
- Dakota Association of United Church of Christ (UCC), Fort Pierre, SD. Joni Boub sentenced for a combined loss of $73,514. Boub gets prison for two embezzlement cases.
- Arrow Heights Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, OK. Candy Tompkins (former secretary) accused of embezzling over $305,600. Broken Arrow church’s former financial secretary accused of embezzling more than $300,000.
- Faith Fellowship Church, Macedonia, OH. Andrea Stamp (church bookkeeper) pled no contest to stealing nearly $10,000. Investigator | Stolen church money pays for Disney and Browns Season tickets.
- Unity Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA. Carol Jean Padgett (former treasurer) arrested for embezzling nearly $59,000, which eventually led to closure of the church. Trusted 70-Y-O Church Treasurer Sentenced for Thousands She ‘Stole From God’.
- United Methodist Church, New Centerville, WI. Kara K. Amundson LaVenture (treasurer) and Michael J. LaVenture (treasurer’s husband) arrested for “stealing nearly $190,000 in church funds over about 10 years.” Couple accused of stealing nearly $190k from western Wisconsin church.
- St. John’s Lutheran Church, Conzad, NE. Candice Hasbrouck (treasurer) arrested and confessed for theft of over $46,000. Cozad woman arrested for stealing $46,000 from church.
- Living Hope Community Church, Jacksonville, FL. Kasey Riley Long (payroll officer) arrested to taking in excess of $13,000 by padding her time-sheets. Woman accused of embezzling from church.
- Free Will Baptist Church, Ellis Chapel, Wilson, NC. Portialia Battle Eatmon (church secretary) arrested for embezzlement of nearly $40,000. She was charged with “charged with seven counts of embezzlement, six counts of forgery of an instrument, five counts of uttering forged instrument and six counts of obtaining property by false pretense.” Church secretary charged with embezzlement.
- Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Kingston, PA. Cherie White (church secretary) and her husband Keith White were charged with embezzlement of almost $175,000. Couple Charged with Stealing $174,000 from Church.
- Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL. Tamika Lanese Bailey (accounting manager) was arrested for diverting over $93,000 for her own personal use. She used several alias names including Tamika Lanese Stuckey and Tamika Lanese Hicks. One of the accounts used the name of one of her dead relatives. Suspect in theft of more than $100,000 from Birmingham church surrenders.
- Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Fayetteville, NC. Lenial Mertis Brite Jr. (treasurer) charged with nine counts of embezzlement totaling $24,108.18. Ex-church treasurer embezzled thousands from NC church.
- La Obra Milagrosa Church, San Antonio, TX. Brennan R. Diaz (pastor’s grandson) and Deborah A. Diaz (pastor’s granddaughter) indicted by a federal grand jury for forging approximately 50 checks from the church’s account. Mother and son accused of defrauding grandfather’s church.
- Trinity United Methodist Church, Augusta, KY. Dorothy Colleen Barth (treasurer) arrested for embezzling in excess of $50,000 from the church. “She has been charged with theft by unlawful taking.” Treasurer of church in Augusta, Ky. accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars.
- First Baptist Church, Carrollton, TX. Jill Martin (bookkeeper) arrested on felony theft of up to $300,000. First Baptist bookkeeper rang up $250K in charges on Carrollton church’s credit cards, police say.
- Lewis Creek Baptist Church, Shelbyville, IN. Michael Richardson (treasurer) pled guilty to embezzling $147,925.94. Former treasurer sentenced after nearly $150K stolen from Shelbyville church.
- First Baptist Church, Sparta, TN. Angela Carole Wyatt (secretary) arrested for embezzlement of over $30,000 from the church. She was indicted by a grand jury. Wyatt charged with embezzling from First Baptist Church in Sparta.
- Unidentified Alexandria Church, Alexandria, LA. Michael Wood (employee) arrested for embezzlement of $300,000. Employee accused of stealing from Alexandria church.
- Triumph Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA. Ronnie Crockett (pastor) arrested for “fraudulently taking church funds” of at least $137,000. Crockett was later released. A New Orleans Church Wants Their Pastor To Answer To Alleged Embezzlement.
- Tri-County Baptist Church, West Chester, OH. Garry Meyer (treasurer) arrested for embezzling over $800,000. He is alleged to have spent it on “escorts, drugs, pornography, credit cards, cars and vacations.” He pled guilty. Ohio church treasurer who pleaded guilty to embezzling $800k for escorts, drugs and porn gets five-year sentence.
- First Presbyterian Church, Clarksville, TN. Connie Parker (bookkeeper) accused in a lawsuit for taking more than $600,000. She was also charged criminally for $60,000 of the loss, to which she pled guilty. Suit claims former bookkeeper stole $600K from First Presbyterian.
- St. John’s United Methodist Church, Lugoff, SC. Debora Bradshaw Barfield (church secretary) charged with stealing money to buy drugs. The theft is approximately $97,000. Church Secretary Accused of Stealing $97,000 to Buy Drugs.
- St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Columbian Club, Port Richey, FL. Crawford Bennett (Knights of Columbus treasurer) charged with embezzling almost $80,000. Treasurer charged with stealing 80K from church group.
- Way of Grace Church, McKinney, TX. Timothy Lloyd Booth (pastor) was convicted of “theft and securities fraud.” Total loss is estimated at $23 M. Former McKinney pastor gets 68 years for defrauding the elderly to fund luxury lifestyle.
- Grace Episcopal Church, Yantic, CT. Andrew Rushford (treasurer) sentenced for embezzling in excess of $40,000. He received a “suspended sentence and five years’ probation.” Ex-Norwich church treasurer sentenced to probation.
- Wingett Run Church of Christ, Marietta, WV. Julie R. Rinard (treasurer) after pleading guilty, was sentenced for stealing $26,000. Former church treasurer sentenced for theft.
- New Century Church, Roanoke, VA. William Jared Walters (former chief financial officer) pleaded no contest to embezzlement and has agreed to repay stolen funds. Former church official avoids jail on embezzlement charges but must repay $180,000.
- Scottsville Baptist Church, Scottsville, KY. Patricia Barlow (former church secretary) sentenced of “three counts of wire fraud.” Attorney: Barlow shouldn’t be sent to prison for embezzling from church.
- New Centerville United Methodist Church, Rush River, MN – Former church treasurer enters guilty plea in embezzlement case.
- St. Joseph Catholic Church, Owosso, MI – Retired priest gets prison time, must repay church in embezzlement case.
- Meadowood Baptist Church, Aberdeen, SD. Julia C. Field (church employee) pleaded guilty to embezzlement of $132,970.72. Guilty plea entered in Meadowood Church embezzlement case.
- Living Faith Baptist Church, Hartford, KY. Lori A. Main (treasurer) and her husband, Clinton E. Main charged with theft of church funds in the amount of approximately $300,000. KSP: Couple Charged with Theft of $300,000 from Church Fund.
- Grace Lutheran Church, Oak Creek, WI. Kelly A. Fischer (acting director) charged with embezzling almost $100,000. “It was done in little bits, little pieces:” Woman accused of embezzling nearly $100K from Oak Creek church.
- Bucktown United Methodist Church, Cambridge, MD. Ashley Ellis (undetermined) was arrested on allegations she “stole and forged checks totaling $19,632.76.” She was also charged with “identity theft, forgery of private documents, obtaining money by forgery and issuing a false document.” Woman Charged With Stealing Almost $20K From Cambridge Church.
- Palma Ceia United Methodist Church, Tampa, FL. Juliet Suzanne Ellis (business manager) arrested and pled guilty to embezzlement of more than $82,000. Tampa-area church manager pleads guilty in federal embezzlement case.
- Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church, Tulsa, OK. Willard Jones (pastor) pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $1 M from his church. Auction planned at home of Tulsa pastor accused of embezzlement.
- Victory Apostolic Church, Kingsport, TN. Boyd W. Holder (pastor) arrested and indicted by grand jury for embezzlement in excess of $60,000. Pastor’s Wife Indicted as Co-Defendant in Ongoing Church Embezzlement Investigation.
- Lord of Life Church, Ramsey, MN. Benjamin Carruthers (ministry director) charged with embezzlement of $39,000. Charges: Youth director stole $39,000 from Minnesota church.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Allentown, PA. Mark Suter (bookkeeper) convicted of embezzling $188,000. Lehigh DA: Couple stole $1.4M from Emmaus firm to fund ‘lavish’ lifestyle.
- Pisgah United Methodist Church, United Men’s Organization, Lincoln County, NC. William V. Fortenberry (treasurer) charged by a grand jury with embezzlement of nearly $5,000. Former asst. fire chief pleads guilty for embezzling from Burned Children’s Fund.
- St. Peter Catholic Church and other churches, Huber Heights, OH. Earl Simone (pastor) pled guilty to stealing in excess of $1.9 M. Rev. Earl Simone pleads guilty in theft of more than $1.9 million.
- Avalon Missionary Church Preschool, Fort Wayne, IN. Shelley Randolph (director) arrested for two counts of felony theft. The total loss is estimated at a little over $30,000. Church preschool director accused of stealing more than $30K.
- St. John Lutheran Church, Saginaw, MI. George W. Pike (treasurer) pled no-contest to embezzling in excess of $100,000. The church also filed suit against him for a loss of $212,000 from a trust fund. Man gets year in jail for embezzling more than $100K from Saginaw church.
- Winthrop United Methodist Church, ME. Tricia Day (treasurer) convicted for embezzling in excess of $30,000. Woman who embezzled from Winthrop church indicted on new charges.
- Friendship Baptist Church, LaGrange, GA. John Dewayne Murphy (treasurer) pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $80,000. Man sentenced for stealing church money.
- Calvary Baptist Church, Elizabeth City, NC. Timothy Wilder Stallings (pastor) charged taking money from the church offering in the amount of almost $1,000. Calvary Baptist pastor charged with embezzling from church.
- The Journey Church, Sallisaw, OK. Jeffrey Allred (former pastor) charged in a civil lawsuit by the church for alleged embezzlement. Some of the items charged to the church credit card were then allegedly sold online for cash. Lawsuit Filed Against Former Sallisaw Pastor For Personal Purchases With Church Credit Card.
- St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, Kettering, OH. Stacy Bowling (cafeteria employee) arrested. Indictment: St. Albert church worker embezzled $45K.
- Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, East Meadow, NY. Ronald Ousman (asst. treasurer) arrested on allegations of embezzlement. Total loss is $35,000. D.A: Treasurer stole from local church.
- Praise Assembly Full Gospel Church, Del City, OK. Shanda Glover (treasurer) arrested for embezzling in excess of $80,000 over two years. Del City church treasurer accused of embezzling over $80K.
- Lindsay Lane Missionary Baptist Church, Florissant, MO. Ralph Sawyer (pastor) allegedly stole money using a church issued ATM card to pay off his mistress. Pastor charged for stealing $21K from church to pay off mistress.
- Charity Baptist Church of Christ, Bronx, New York, NY. Reginald Williams (pastor) was arraigned in NY Supreme Court for allegedly embezzling in excess of $631,000. He is alleged to have taken money from programs meant for HIV-positive drug addicts. He was working for nonprofits at the time. Bronx pastor stole more than $631,000 from HIV/AIDS charities: district attorney.
- First Calvary Life Ministry, Tampa, FL. Luckner Stimphil (pastor) convicted in a “tax fraud scheme.” The pastor started tax a preparation business for immigrants with several offices that filed returns using fraudulent deductions. Between him and his daughter the loss was at least $11M. Tampa pastor, daughter sentenced in $11 million tax prep scheme.
- SouthLake Presbyterian Church, Huntersville, NC. Wade Malloy (pastor) and Wayne C. Parker (CFO) charged with embezzlement of nearly 1.5 M. Huntersville pastor admits role in embezzlement of up to $1.5M from church and school.
- Agape Family Worship Center, Rahway, NJ. Donald Gridiron (church accountant) embezzled in excess of $4 M from the church and another charity, in part due to his alleged compulsive gambling. CPA who gambled away church’s millions sent to prison.
- St. Paul Lutheran Church, Rockford, IL. Lynn Warner (church secretary) charged and pled guilty to embezzlement of $340,000. Former St. Paul Lutheran Church secretary sentenced for embezzling.
- Compassion Church, Kingston, TX. Samantha Webb (pastor’s wife) charged with embezzling more than $20,000. Woman accused of embezzling from Kingston church where her husband pastored.
- New Covenant Church, Pasadena, CA. Danny Wooten (senior pastor), Tyrone Collins, and Melody Jenkins charged with embezzlement. “The trio have been accused of stealing more than $6 million from the Pasadena undergrounding program over a 10-year period.” The money was taken from the Pasadena Public Works Department for alleged contracted work. Pasadena employee signed off on payments to church in Danny Wooten embezzlement scandal.
- Chickahominy Baptist Church, Tano, VA. Alice Rebecca Wilson (treasurer) arrested for embezzlement in excess of $4,800. Part of the church was used by her to run her daycare business for which she was using church funds illegally. Chickahominy Baptist Church Treasurer Sentenced to Five Years for Embezzlement.
- AME Zion Trinity Housing Development Co., Poughkeepsie, NY. Carl Immich (property manager) arrested for embezzling “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Tubman Terrace property manager accused of embezzling funds.
- Kingdom Dominion Worldwide Ministries, Memphis, TN. Jeannette Jives-Nealy (pastor) indicted for misappropriation of at least $162,165 of government money for a faith-based food program. Child food program operator indicted on theft charges.
- Vista Free Will Baptist Church, Van Buren, AR. John R. Hays (treasurer) was arrested on charges of embezzlement. Total loss is $94,000. He admitted to church officials “that he stole the money.” Treasurer Apologizes After Arrest In Church Embezzlement Case.
- Ward Baptist Church, Ward, SC. Ellen Pamela Long (treasurer) arrested on embezzlement charges. She also was charged with embezzling in her position as Ward town clerk. It is alleged the loss is $10,000 from the church and $10,000 from the town. Former Town Clerk, Church Treasurer Charged with Embezzlement.
- Unidentified Fall Branch church, Fall Branch, TN. Dwight Mumpower (treasurer) arrested for allegedly embezzling money from the church offerings. Church treasurer arrested after money discovered missing.
- Greater Norris Baptist Church, Henderson County, KY. Delanie Tillman (treasurer) convicted of embezzlement of $201,000 over ten years. Fmr. Henderson Co. church treasurer sentenced to 21 mo. in prison.
- Glade Springs Baptist Church, LaFollette, TN. Patricia C. Kitts (treasurer) charged with taking in excess of $10,000. A grand jury indicted her. Campbell church treasurer indicted.
- St. Augustine Church, Windsor, CT. Honore Kombo (priest) arrested for stealing at least $20,000. Former Seymour priest repays more than $20,000 he embezzled from church.
- Truth Worship Center, and TWC Ministry, Minneapolis, MN. Dedric Willis (pastor) arrested for forgery of stolen checks (several checks between $30,000 and $45,000), or theft by swindle. Woman charged with helping pastor in $235K forgery, stolen checks case.
- Second African Baptist Church, Savannah, GA. Corey MeGill Brown (pastor) pled guilty to embezzling in excess of $200,000. Former Savannah pastor pleads guilty in church embezzlement case.
- St. Monica’s Church, Rochester, NY. Marlo Santini (church finance manager) convicted for stealing in excess of $241,000. St. Monica’s Church finance manager sentenced for embezzling funds.
- Calvary Chapel Flagler Beach (now Flagler Bible Fellowship), Flagler Beach, FL. Wesley Alan Brown (associate pastor) arrested for embezzling $2 M. He was successfully sued along with his brother by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Brown was initially charged with “31 felonies ranging from embezzlement to theft to securities fraud.” Brown allegedly “sold fraudulent securities through Maveric International and misrepresented their safety and potential return.” Ex-Flagler Beach pastor accused in $2M fraud scheme.
- Greater Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Violet, LA. Trinette Johnson (account executive) charged with embezzlement of $101,872. Violet woman arrested in church embezzlement works for St. Bernard finance department.
- Miles Global Ministries, Tulsa, OK. Kenneth Larry Miles (minister) and Melody Hope (Frye) Miles (minister) arrested for embezzlement of money ($10,000) paid to remodel some homes. The work was never completed. Their ministry website solicits money for various mission projects in Costa Rica. Both have previous arrests for fraud. ‘Minister’ Arrested At Idaho Church On Tulsa County Embezzlement Warrant.
- Victory Fellowship Church, Lower Providence Township, PA. James Moody (bookkeeper) arrested for embezzlement of more than $156,000 and multiple counts of identity theft. He is alleged to have a prior conviction for embezzlement of $21,000 in a different organization. Philadelphia Man Charged With Embezzling Thousands From Montco Church.
- Mechanicsville Advent Christian Church, Mechanicsville, VA. Chris Phillips (pastor) arrested for in excess of $80,000. He alleged to have been extorted by a woman from whom he paid for sexual favors and she had pictures to prove it. She too has been arrested. Mechanicsville pastor accused of embezzlement, paying for sexual favors.
- Pleasant View Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, IN. Stephanie Hicks (manager) arrested and charged for theft and forgery. She is alleged to have embezzled from business accounts and using a church credit card for which she was not authorized. She is also alleged to have forged the treasurer’s signature. Total theft is estimated at more than $177,000. Office manager accused of stealing $177,000 from church.
- Harvest Fellowship Community Church (megachurch), San Antonio, TX. Leonard Meyers (finance director) accused of embezzlement of at least $491,000 and possibly as high as $750,000 according to local investigators and the FBI. Church managers knew he was a convicted felon in advance. He had gone to prison for swindling elderly people. “Church officials said he confessed [to current charges] shortly before dying.” Beloved church member also stole from it.
- United Methodist Church, Manlius, NY. Mary Meyer (former treasurer) arrested and indicted for embezzlement of $444,000. She was charged “with unauthorized checks and making unauthorized money transfers.” Church treasurer and husband accused of stealing $444,000 from Manlius congregation.
- Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Sunset Hills, St. Louis, MO. Elaine Lewis (bookkeeper) pled guilty to federal mail fraud “and admitted embezzling roughly $300,000.” Fenton woman admits embezzling $300,000 from church.
- Detroit, MI. Michael Winans Jr. (gospel evangelist) arrested for “financially defrauding more than 1,200 investors in an $8 million pyramid scheme.” He pled guilty. Winans member gets 13 years in $8 million fraud scheme.
- Swedenborgian Church on the Hill, Boston, MA. Edward J. MacKenzie (director of operations) arrested and charged with embezzlement. He was indicted by a grand jury “on charges of racketeering, extortion, bribery, and money laundering.” Beacon Hill church director accused of stealing funds.
- New Life Assembly of God, Pembroke Pines, FL. Jules Derosier (pastor) arrested for embezzlement and “charged with grand theft for allegedly stealing 11 checks totaling $2,690 and depositing them in his personal bank account.” Pastor accused of stealing from Pembroke Pines church.
- Saint Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church, Washington Township, NJ. James Hess (bookkeeper) “charged with theft, falsifying records and forgery.” Total loss is believed to be $245,257.54. Former Washington Township church bookkeeper accused of stealing nearly $250K from parish.
- Gallatin Church of Christ daycare, Nashville, TN. Donna Gregory (daycare employee) indicted for stealing from a church daycare. Total loss is about $35,000. TBI arrests Gallatin woman for stealing from church daycare.
- Bardstown Baptist Church, Bardstown, KY. Dylan Mays (former pastor) was arrested for loading the church credit cards with at least $80,000 worth of “guns, electronics and other personal items.” Former pastor accused of stealing from church.
- Unidentified church, Lee County, MS. Jimmy D. Bean (volunteer) arrested on “multiple counts of embezzlement.” The total amount missing is $20,000. Embezzlement of Church.
- Emmanuel Evangelical Congregational Church, Hatfield, PA. Stephanie Anne Kligge (treasurer) was arrested for embezzling approximately $81,000, or 90% of the church’s cash. Treasurer at Montco Church Charged With Embezzlement.
- West Oakboro Baptist Church, Oakboro, NC. Barbara Williams Hatley (treasurer) arrested on charges of embezzling in excess of $70,000. Treasurer accused of embezzling $70K from church.
- Chester United Methodist Church, Chester, VA. Jerri Hunter (treasurer) arrested on charges of embezzlement. Employee arrested for taking $500,000 from Chester church.
- St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Tulare, CA – Former Tulare pastor pleads no contest in embezzlement case, will be sentenced in August.
- First Baptist Church, Carrollton, TX. John Franklin Howard (preacher’s son, and church member) is accused in a lawsuit of depositing embezzled money in the church collection over many years, amounting to over $200,000. It appeared that the money had been embezzled from a business in which he was employed. He was convicted of using some of the embezzled money to hire a hit on his wife, which proved unsuccessful. Baptist church accused of keeping embezzled “blood money.”
- Queen Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, Vanceboro, NC. Samantha Hines (financial secretary) arrested for embezzlement of over $5,000. Deputies: Church worker embezzled thousands.
- Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, Venice, FL. Robert Kondratick (administrator) arrested for embezzlement of more than $50,000. He was also fired by the church. Venice church official accused of embezzling $53,950.
- St. Benedicts the Moor Catholic Church (Ladies Guild), Winston-Salem, NC. Rose Parks Hinson (treasurer) is charged with embezzling over $4,000 from the church accounts. Volunteer accused of embezzling from Winston-Salem church.
- Diocese of Greensburg, and Church of Resurrection Parish, Indiana County, IN. Daniel Michael Yasick (business manager) plead guilty for embezzlement of $107,000. He was charged with “190 counts varying from theft to tampering with evidence for taking the money, shredding financial documents and changing figures on accounting ledgers.” Man apologizes for stealing from Indiana County parish.
- First Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Shreveport, LA. Demario Thomas (former treasurer) arrested for an alleged forgery charge on 106 checks. Total loss is $31,74 from a church building fund. Church treasurer arrested in connection with theft.
- Broadmoor Christian Church, LA. Evelyn Brown (treasurer) was arrested for allegedly stealing in excess of $100,000. Church Treasurer Arrested For Theft.
- Breakabeen–North Blenheim Presbyterian Church, Schoharie County, NY. Emma Maxwell (treasurer) charged with second-degree grand larceny for embezzling in excess of $140,000. Schoharie County church treasurer charged in $143K theft.
- Seventh Day Adventist Church, Old Westbury, NY. Joaquim Canario (treasurer) was arrested and charged with “Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree. Loss is a supposed $366,730.12. It is alleged he used the money on his own mortgage payments and wired to banks in South Africa and England. Retired Treasurer Indicted for Stealing Over $360K from Old Westbury Church.
- Manlius United Methodist Church, Manlius, NY. John Osborn (treasurer) arrested for allegedly embezzling. He and a coconspirator have been indicted. Loss is $440,000. Manlius church treasurer, husband accused of stealing funds.
- Manlius United Methodist Church, Manlius, NY. Mary Meyer (treasurer’s wife) arrested for allegedly embezzling. She and a coconspirator have been indicted. Loss is $440,000. Manlius church treasurer, husband accused of stealing funds.
- Bethany United Methodist Church, Tacoma, WA. Janet Sego (former treasurer) charged with embezzling $35,115.81. Former treasurer charged with stealing $35,000 from church.
- Hope Presbyterian Church, Winston-Salem, MA. Barrett Isley Kenan (office administrator) convicted of embezzlement. Total loss was more than $200,000. Former church employee convicted of stealing more than $200,000 from Hope Presbyterian Church. She used church’s debit card to pay bills and for personal use.
- Wave Church, Virginia Beach, VA. Bobby Hillman (church member). – “You were brainwashed spiritually,” judge says, sparing fraud conspirator jail time.
- Miles Global Ministries, Tulsa, OK. Kenneth Larry Miles (minister) charged “with writing a bogus check over $500.” Case is pending. ‘Minister’ Arrested At Idaho Church On Tulsa County Embezzlement Warrant.
- Goodwill Baptist Church, Madison, NC. (Currently at Grace Fellowship Church, Winston-Salem, NC.” John Albert Jackson Sr. (pastor) arrested for embezzlement of $66,000. Other family members were also arrested. Winston-Salem pastor arrested in $66K embezzlement case at former Madison church.
- Goodwill Baptist Church, Madison, NC. John Albert Jackson Jr. (pastor’s son) indicted by a grand jury for embezzlement. Winston-Salem pastor arrested in $66K embezzlement case at former Madison church.
- Goodwill Baptist Church, Madison, NC. Treva Tatum Moore (former secretary) indicted by a grand jury for embezzlement. Winston-Salem pastor arrested in $66K embezzlement case at former Madison church.
- St. Mark’s Parish, Holley, NY. Mary Anne Rapp (nun) pled guilty to embezzlement she used to “fuel a gambling addiction.” She took money for the weekly collection and other moneys throughout the week. She was eventually fired for the loss of $128,000. Gambling Nun Stole Nearly $130k From Churches Over Five Years.
- Centerview Baptist Church, Marshville, NC. Susan Lynette Parker (secretary) pled to a deferred prosecution plea if she paid the money back, about $23,000. School embezzler sentenced to prison time in North Carolina.
- The Sound of His Voice Christian Fellowship, Visalia, CA. Bobby Adamson (pastor) and Lynette “Jo Jo” Adamson (pastor) arrested for defrauding investors in the amount of more than $500,000. Visalia pastors facing more than 15 years in prison.
- Kingwood Christian School (Kingwood Assembly of God Inc.), Alabaster, AL. Stacie S. Hollon (financial manager) “pleaded guilty to the charge of first-degree theft of property.” The amount embezzled is more than $63,000. These “charges arose after she was arrested for driving under the influence and receiving stolen property” for receiving money she should have known was stolen. Former Kingwood Christian School manager gets probation in embezzlement.
- Tilly Swamp Baptist Church, Conway, SC; and Pale Ministries. Archie Larue Evans (former pastor) “pled guilty to one charge of mail fraud and one charge of structuring financial transactions to evade the reporting requirements banks must follow for deposits exceeding $10,000.” Total loss is $2.5 M. Former Conway pastor pleads guilty to cheating parishoners, others out of $2.5 million.
- St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Edmond, OK. Bill Dwight Coyle (business manager) charged with embezzlement of $109,454. Judge sentences St. John’s ex-employee.
- Emmanuel Temple Church, Vinita, OK. Johnna May Moss (secretary) arrested for embezzlement of over $15,000. Former church secretary arrested in embezzlement.
- Unidentified church. Susan Emily Jones (church member) arrested for embezzlement of money from her employer and giving at least $200,000 of it to two churches perhaps to lessen the perceived severity of her having stolen $800,000 in total if she were to ever be caught. She pled guilty of wire fraud. Ex-bank exec gets 2 years for fraud.
- Trinity United Methodist Church, Cartersville, GA. Nicole Abernathy (treasurer) of God’s Little Sprouts arrested for embezzling $20,492. God’s Little Sprouts treasurer arrested after allegedly embezzling.
- National City Christian Church, Washington, DC. Jason Todd Reynolds (chief financial officer) sentenced for embezzling $850,000. Former church official of historic DC church sentenced to 8 years for embezzling $850,000.
- Bethel Methodist Church Inc., Robinson, TX. Michael Lynn Hooper (treasurer) arrested on charges of embezzlement of approximately $75,000. Treasurer of Robinson church arrested for alleged embezzlement of about $75,000.
- Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, Kent County, MI. Stephon Blackwell (pastor) was convicted of embezzlement.
- First Baptist Church, Long Beach. Michelle Calliham Fowler (church bookkeeper) convicted of embezzling nearly $156,000. Update: Pink Heart founder devastated over $235K embezzlement — and who’s accused.
- Corona United Methodist Church, Corona, CA. Gigi Lynnette Wellott (treasurer) pled guilty to stealing $200,000. Her embezzlement was detected through an audit which found she claimed the checks were “for official church business.” She also purchased check cards which allowed her to go unnoticed for a time. Corona: Church bookkeeper gets 3 years for embezzlement.
- Union Chapel United Methodist church, Muncie, IN. Angela Renee Linder (accounting administrator) accused of and pled guilty to embezzling $200,000 to fund her vacations, meals, clothes, and home repairs. Woman accused of bilking $200,000 from Muncie church.
- Christ the Good Shepherd Elementary School, Lincoln Park, MI. Thomas Caruso (Catholic school principal) arrested for a loss of $50,000, which allegedly was “milk money.” Former Catholic school principal accused of embezzling “milk money” faces hearing next week.
- Liberty Union Baptist Church, Lowgap, NC. Wanda Lucille Oakley (treasurer) charged with 11 counts of embezzlement. She is alleged to have taken money from both the church and church cemetery fund. The loss is at least $20,000 which were allegedly used for meals, carwashes, and other personal expenses. Church treasurer charged with embezzlement.
- “The Bridge” Baptist Church, Rogersville, TN. Erin Nicole Frost (treasurer) arrested for embezzling approximately $79,000. She is alleged to have written checks to herself from the church account. Rogersville church treasurer charged with stealing $79,000.
- Calvary United Methodist church, Columbus, OH. John W. “Bill” Elder (treasurer) charged with embezzlement. Church treasurer accused of embezzling money.
- Elmwood Avenue Church of God, Columbia, SC. Charles Edward Ledford (former pastor) arrested on charges of embezzling $253,827. Columbia pastor charged with stealing $253,000 from church.
- Calvary Lutheran Church, Las Vegas, NV – Former Church Treasurer Sentenced For Theft Of Nearly $1.5 Million From Church, Wire Fraud And Tax Fraud.
- First United Pentecostal Church, Beaumont, TX. Kip Lamb (church attorney) pled guilty to “misuse of fiduciary funds for a loss of $1.1 M. The money, it is alleged, was hidden in a church trust fund to protect it from a sexual abuse lawsuit. One of the attorney’s with access to it started draining the account. Attorney could stand trial in $1 million Beaumont church embezzlement.
- New Macedonia Baptist Church, Albany, GA. Yolanda Pope (treasurer) arrested on allegations of “27 counts of theft and fraud.” Church treasurer/County employee arrested on theft charges.
- Lakeside Baptist Church, Ten Mile, McMinn County, TN. Kelly Maynor (treasurer) was arrested for alleged embezzlement. The loss is in excess of $50,000. Church Treasurer Charged, Accused of Embezzling Thousands of Dollars.
- St. Walter Catholic Church, Roselle, IL. John Regan (priest) convicted of embezzling $300,000 to supplant his gambling debt incurred at the riverboat casinos. Priest who gambled away church’s $300,000 may lose probation over repayment.
- Miles Global Ministries, Tulsa, OK. Kenneth Larry Miles (minister) convicted in a case where he was charged with “false pretense over $500 in a con game and writing a bogus check over $500.” The total loss was $7,889.09. ‘Minister’ Arrested At Idaho Church On Tulsa County Embezzlement Warrant.
- Faith Church (megachurch), New Milford, CT. David Valentine (former executive pastor) pled guilty to embezzlement in excess of $220,000. The money was drawn from a commercial car wash owned by the church. Ex-pastor sentenced for embezzlement.
- Port Tampa United Methodist Church, Port Tampa, FL. Michael McKenzie (treasurer) arrested for theft of $216,000, which she alleged was used to support a drug and gambling addiction. Church treasurer arrested for theft.
- Augusta Presbyterian Church, Oriskany Falls, NY. Susan Haggerty (former treasurer) sentenced for embezzling $135,000 from her church. The money was said to have been used for gambling and personal expenses. Ex-church treasurer in tears at sentencing.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Lower Susquehanna Synod, Harrisburg, PA. Barry R. Herr (former treasurer) arrested for alleged misappropriation of funds. ELCA Synod Bishop Issues Statement after Arrest of Former Treasurer.
- Trinity Christian Church, Saint Paul, MN. Unidentified man (treasurer/board member) was arrested for allegedly stealing in excess of $11,000. The suspect was found in possession of methamphetamine. St. Paul church treasurer arrested in alleged theft.
- Iglesia De Dios Sinai, Pima County, AZ. Jose C. Galvan (pastor) arrested on charges of theft in the amount of $111,115. After leaving the Church of God, he had been warned he couldn’t take the funds or property, but he allegedly ordered his wife and a treasurer to remove banked funds. Church’s Pastor, Wife and Treasurer Arrested on Theft Charges.
- Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, Thomasville, NC. Teresa Mabe Swartz (treasurer) arrested on charges of embezzling at least $104,521.66. Church treasurer charged with embezzlement.
- Gallaher Memorial Baptist Church, Knoxville, TN. Barry Cain (treasurer) arrested for embezzlement in excess of $78,000 from the church and a much larger amount for a non-church cemetery. Church treasurer accused of taking nearly $700K from church, cemetery.
- Calvary Chapel on Merritt Island, FL. Rudolph E. Heide (treasurer) arrested on charges of stealing church offerings and tithes. The money was allegedly used to pay for vacations “to Hawaii, Las Vegas and Europe.” Ex-Church Treasurer Held in $1.2 Mil. Theft.
- Cases to be added. Please check back.
- Greater Progressive Baptist Church, Houston, TX. Harold W. Wilcox (pastor) arrested for misappropriating funds. – Pastor arrested in fraud scheme at charter school.
- Neel Church of Christ, Neel, TN. Steven Gene Wilson (treasurer) arrested on charges of embezzling at least $45,000. Church treasurer arrested-Indictment brought after Neel Church of Christ comes up $45,000 short; loss may be greater.
- Needville United Methodist Church, Fort Bend, TX. Brenda Carol Jine (treasurer) arrested on charges of embezzling approximately $100,000. Church treasurer indicted.
- Earles Grove Baptist Church, Earls Grove, SC. Lessa Jean Walters (secretary) charged with $400,000 theft from the church’s bank accounts. Church members caught off guard by secretary’s arrest. Anderson Independent-Mail (SC) – February 8, 2001.
- Unidentified Lutheran church, Cheshire, CT. George A. Patrick (treasurer) arrested for allegedly embezzling in excess of $100,000. September 19 – 1996: Lutheran church treasurer robs his church to visit Cape Cod.
- Salem Lutheran Church, Glendale, CA. Bruce Edward Wahl (former treasurer) arrested on charges of embezzlement, for a loss in excess of $300,000. Ex-Church Treasurer Arrested on Felony Grand Theft Charges.
- Fordham Methodist Episcopal Church, Bronx, New York, NY. Alfred Ericson (treasurer) arrested on charges of embezzling $329.80. Arrest Church Treasurer-Ericson charged with embezzling funds—Said to have confessed. New York Times, Jan. 28,1917.