Many people choose to serve their church. This service can happen in many different forms, from serving as a Sunday school teacher or as a pastor. Others perform necessary services, including acting as the church's treasurer. Unfortunately, when there are not appropriate safeguards in place, a person who is simply trying to help the church could face serious accusations. In fact, a man in Missouri has recently found himself responding to accusations of white collar crimes.
Reports indicate that the 68-year-old man served as the treasurer of Antioch Baptist Church in rural Missouri from Jan. 1994 to Dec. 2016. During that time, he reportedly made most of the deposits and wrote the majority of the checks without any sort of oversight or approval from others. Now, police claim that he embezzled over $320,000 from the church.
He was recently arrested on two counts of wire fraud. Those charges stem from a $350 check the man allegedly wrote to Walmart in 2016. Although it is unclear how officials made the determination, they claim that the purchase was for his personal benefits. One of the accounts also deals with a $3,000 check he is said to have written to Fidelity Investments, also allegedly for his personal benefit. Police claim that the church burned down under suspicious circumstances after the accusations against the man came to light.
Unfortunately, charges related to white collar crimes are often complex. The average person in Missouri may be unprepared to sort through the accusations and evidence against them in order to determine an appropriate response. Fortunately, there are professionals with the necessary experience to help those facing such charges fully understand the case against them.
Source: whig.com, "Indictment: Anitoch Church treasurer had access to checking account without oversight", Matt Hopf, March 12, 2018