Many organizations — regardless of their overall purpose — often have processes in place that require oversight on any expenditures made. These measures are primarily in place to protect the organization’s finances but could also ultimately protect an employee who handles the money from accusations of wrongdoing. Unfortunately, a secretary at a church in Missouri now faces accusations of theft from the church she served.
Reports indicate that the woman worked for the church for 35 years. She is accused of taking money from the church over the years until another employee reportedly discovered discrepancies in the bookkeeping. The woman allegedly wrote checks to herself but indicated that the money was directed to a vendor.
The discovery of discrepancies at the end of July prompted an audit. Once completed in early August, the woman was terminated. Despite the allegations against her, criminal charges have yet to be filed. The church and the accused woman reportedly came to an agreement that the woman would pay back $446,000. Though she allegedly admitted to spending the money taken from the school, she claims to have other funds that she can use to pay restitution.
In addition to the allegations made by the Missouri church, the local police department is also investigating the alleged theft. Even though she has not been charged with a crime, she may want an experienced criminal defense attorney on her side even during the early stages of an investigation, including before any charges are filed. Such a professional can advise her about the information she provides to police and guide her throughout the criminal justice system as necessary.