Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Scam hits Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, California hard

Congregation official held; hundreds of thousands lost

The arrest of an Ontario man accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from church coffers has shocked and angered the Calvary Chapel Chino Hills community.
Police in late December arrested Farrukh Ahmed, 47, at his Doral Avenue home on suspicion of felony burglary and embezzlement charges.
The FBI, which is investigating the theft, reported that between $720,000 and $960,000 was stolen over four years, Calvary Chapel pastor Jack Hibbs said.
"He was actually caught by one of our staff members with cash in hand," Hibbs said.
Hibbs announced the loss on December 27, 2009 to the congregation.
"They were shocked and disheartened and they were very tearful," Hibbs said. "They felt very violated."
The Chino Police Department was initially contacted by Ahmed on April 17 about theft and embezzlement of church money, Chino spokeswoman Michelle Van Der Linden said. Ahmed had been a church administrator.
"At that time, there was no suspect information available, and the subsequent investigation did not yield any leads," Van Der Linden said.
Hibbs said evidence included tithe envelopes that were found to have been opened.
Hibbs on Dec. 8 notified the Police Department that Ahmed might have been responsible for the theft of church funds reported in April.
The subsequent investigation led to Ahmed's arrest.
Ahmed joined Calvary Chapel about 12 years ago and regularly attended
services, Hibbs said.
Ahmed, who was born and raised in Pakistan, was a Muslim who emigrated to the United States in the 1980s. He converted to Christianity at Calvary Chapel where he became a church administrator four years ago, Hibbs said.
Ahmed had been a manager at retail stores in the area, Hibbs said. He is married and has children, Hibbs said.
"On the surface, he was very diligent and very conscientious, and he was the kind of man that would quickly gain your trust," Hibbs said. "He was hardworking and always on the ball."
Church member Mike Goody of Chino said Calvary Chapel members are praying for justice.
"As a Christian, we pray we forgive him for what he did ... but ultimately we seek justice," Goody said.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office has not filed charges against Ahmed. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 25, according to online court records.
The Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, which is in Chino, has 7,000 adult members.


  1. Lord I know this happen sometime ago, let it not detour others from seeking you. It saddens me. I can image how the others felt at the betrayal of one of there own. We thank you Lord for your deliverance. For keeping a eye on your sheep. Let Ahmed see who you really are and the love you have for him. how you forgive him. That it took a prison sentence for him to see the real God of Love and mercy. bless Ahmed draw him close to you Lord. I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior.

  2. wow, I know a lot of people are having a really hard time in the past four years,and I know churches have also felt the economic problems .
    why would someone steal from God? I just cant understand that,that is so sad and also disturbing!

  3. What ever happened to the guy? Was he convicted, or is the case still being tried in court?

  4. I hope they pressed charges... this guy stole nearly a million dollars from the church!

  5. "Ahmed's plea bargain also calls for him to be placed on probation for three years and to pay $25,000 in restitution to the church. The Ontario resident is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 20."