Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fayetteville woman charged with embezzlement

The wife of a man accused of bilking a church out of money in 2011 was arrested Tuesday on similar charges, the Hoke County Sheriff's Office said.
Donna Greene Bundy, 54, of the 2100 block of Constitution Drive in Fayetteville, is charged with embezzlement, a Sheriff's Office release said.
Her husband, Jeffrey David Bundy, was charged in November 2012 with obtaining property by false pretense, the release said.
An official from Ashley Heights Baptist Church at 10351 Aberdeen Road, reported that in July 2011, the church had hired Bundy, the owner of SG One Inc., for a project involving modifications of the building, the release said.
The agreed-upon price was $19,816, the release said, and church officials agreed to pay in advance so Bundy could purchase materials and other work-related equipment.
Chruch officials spent several months trying to get Bundy to do the work and finally told him to start the project or return the money, the release said.
Bundy refused to have any more communication with the church representatives, the release said, and was unable to be found.
Church officials contacted the Sheriff's Office and investigators found Bundy and filed the charge against him, the release said.

Donna Bundy's bail was set at $51,000.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FTCC bookstore clerk charged with embezzlement

A 36-year-old assistant clerk at a community college bookstore was charged Monday with stealing thousands of dollars from the school.
Paul Gause Jr., of the 6100 block of Sabine Drive, was accused of stealing more than $8,700 from the Fayetteville Technical Community College bookstore during his employment, according to arrest records.
Fayetteville police said Gause began stealing from the bookstore in November 2012, records show.
Gause was charged with embezzlement of state property.

Bail was set at $25,000.

Monday, July 21, 2014

$150,000 music booster embezzler faked bank records, court documents allege

The treasurer of the Kenowa Hills Schools music booster program allegedly fabricated bank letters in an effort to cover up checks she wrote to herself from a booster account.

Details of admissions made by Robyn Amy Heintz, 40, are contained in court documents in 63rd District Court in Grand Rapids Township.

Prosecutors on Thursday, July 10, authorized a warrant for embezzlement of more than $100,000 against Heintz, who was elected to the Kenowa Hills Instrumental Music Boosters board in June 2010 and served as treasurer until June of this year.

In court documents, investigators allege she took more than $150,000.

Trouble with the bank account came to light in April, when board members were notified that a Huntington Bank account had reached a negative balance and "there were several suspicious debit transactions noted on the bank statement."

At that point, Heintz told board members she would contact Huntington to resolve the problem.

"Heintz would later admit to creating falsified letters to the board members from the bank, explaining that the charges were erroneously charged to the wrong account and the money had been restored," Kent County sheriff's investigators wrote in a court affidavit.

It wasn't clear how long the ruse succeeded, but by early May, board members called police to report possible fraud.

Investigators looked at the financial records and determined that suspicious charges began appearing in August 2010 and continued throughout Heintz's term. They allege the embezzlement reached nearly $200,000.

Heintz, in an interview with police, told detectives she replaced some of the money. However, police allege that more than $150,000 remains missing.

In an alleged confession, she told police she wrote checks to herself for cash and also used a bank-issued debit card for personal expenses.

She is to be arraigned in 63rd District Court at a later date.

The music booster program is described as a "parent-led, volunteer organization that exists to support the Kenowa Hills Public Schools band and orchestra programs."

The most recent tax documents available for the booster program, a 2011 filing, show it took in more than $45,000 after operating expenses.

That year, the program had a fund balance of nearly $80,000, according to the 990-EZ form involving tax-exempt status

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Former church secretary indicted for theft

A longtime administrative assistant at a Southern Baptist church in Alabama is accused of using a church credit card to make unauthorized personal purchases totaling more than $129,000 in a grand jury indictment alleging theft and fraud.

Deborah “Debbie” Mansell, 63, was arrested July 16. Mansell, until recently ministry assistant to the administration pastor at Highland Park Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, Ala., faces charges of first-degree theft of property and 20 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.

According to the Times Daily newspaper in Florence, Ala., an investigation was launched after an internal audit found discrepancies in financial records among more than 2,200 transactions that Mansell made from July 2011 until April 2014. Police said the investigation goes back only to 2011 due to a statute of limitations.

According to a web page archived last November, Mansell has been a member of Highland Park Baptist Church for 46 years and worked at the church for 23 years. She was described as a widow and mother of two with three grandchildren who “loves the Lord, HPBC and music.”

Highland Park lead pastor Brett Pitman told the Times Daily the church is “wounded and hurt” by Mansell’s alleged actions.

It’s the second time this year that a former staff member at Highland Park was charged with a serious crime. Jeff Eddie, the church’s long-time associate pastor for children and church administration, was arrested in February on multiple charges of child sex abuse.

Eddie, 42, who started work at Highland Baptist Church in 1998, reportedly told police during his initial questioning that he sexually abused so many children that he could not remember the number.

Eddie pleaded guilty in March to 20 counts of child sexual abuse and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Local educator, bookkeeper sentenced for embezzlement

A former Walla Walla University finance professor and self-employed bookkeeper will spend time in federal prison on a charge of wire fraud in connection with the theft of more than $800,000 from a local dentist.
Dana G. Thompson of College Place was sentenced in U.S. District Court in the Tri-Cities this week to serve 18 months in prison.
Thompson taught finance at the Seventh-day Adventist university in College Place for 15 years and kept books for about 13 years for Walla Walla Dental Care owner Dr. Dan Laizure.
Thompson pleaded guilty in April and in May told the Union-Bulletin there were extenuating circumstances in the case, but did not give additional details.
The theft from Laizure was carried out by writing unauthorized checks from the dentist to himself, banks and other people in guise of insurance company refunds, according to court documents. Upon deposit, those checks electronically debited Walla Walla Dental care's account.
In addition to his prison sentence, Thompson was ordered to pay $823,832 in restitution. Laizure is to be repaid $773,832, while $50,000 will go to Traveler's Insurance for costs associated with Laizure's investigation of the loss of money.
Thompson has handed over $34,000 from the sale of his home and a gold coin collection, according to court documents.
Court documents from his sentencing hearing Tuesday state Thompson will be on probation for three years following his release from prison. He will have to make all financial information available to his probation officer, including authorization to conduct credit checks and see federal income tax returns. Thompson also must disclose all financial assets and liabilities to the supervising officer, and he cannot sell or give away an asset without court approval.
As well, Thompson cannot incur any new debt, open lines of credit or enter into any financial contracts without permission from his probation officer, sentencing documents said.
Authorities may search him, his home, office or vehicle at any time during his probation, and he must complete a mental health evaluation and follow certain treatment recommendations.
Thompson has waived his right to appeal. The court recommended he serve his sentence at the federal prison in Sheridan, Ore.

Woman accused of embezzling $70K from church

An Albuquerque woman faces an embezzlement charge after unauthorized financial charges worth thousands of dollars were discovered in accounts belonging to Indian Nation Baptist Church located at 417 Palomas DR SE.

According to her criminal complaint, White was the treasurer of Indian Nation Baptist Church from 2011 to 2014. She wasn’t a paid employee but a volunteer according to the church’s pastor Scott Tafoya.

During that time, the complaint says she embezzled an estimated $70,000 from the church, though Albuquerque police say that number may elevate to $90,000 before all is said and done.

The complaint says White would use the money for her own personal use, citing that unauthorized charges were made at local restaurants and grocery stores. Cash withdrawals were also made.

The complaint says White confessed to taking the money after Tafoya was phoned by the church’s bank about a check worth $210 bouncing. According to the complaint, the check was made out to a day care where one of White’s children was attending.

In 2013 alone, White’s complaint says there was a total of 63 unauthorized withdrawals/charges with a total of $42,407 lost to the Indian Nation Baptist Church.

The complaint also says White depleted a separate account for the church where money was being reserved for the church to build a new building.

Amidst it all, Tafoya says he forgives White.

“This hurts. That money was provided for us by God. But we’re praying for Misty,” he said.

White even admitted to giving money away to people going through hard times in her complaint. She also said she would like to repay the amount of money that she took.

4th of July Festival Fund embezzlement case

David Nurmi, a Chester man accused of stealing more than $2,000 from the city's 4th of July Festival fund, made a brief appearance in court Friday morning. Nurmie waived his right to a preliminary hearing, meaning this case will now go through circuit court. A closer look at the criminal complaint, though, reveals that the nine felony embezzlement charges against Nurmi stem from an investigation where Chester's mayor contacted state police regarding the alleged embezzlement. The complaint also indicates that Nurmi may have confessed his acts in a written statement to authorities, saying the money was taken from the account for personal use to satisfy debt that had been incurred by extended family members. Neither Nurmi or his defense attorney would not comment on that, or a conflicting report that it was all a miscommunication. In all, Nurmi is alleged to have taken $2,550 between June and November of last year. The alleged transactions happened on nine separate occasions from a community organization operating under the name City of Chester Centennial Committee. Nurmi's first appearance in circuit Court has not been set.