Friday, February 26, 2010

Man in Chino, California denies embezzlement charge

The attorney for an Ontario man accused of embezzling close to $1 million from a local church has denied the charges.

Farrukh Ahmed of Ontario is accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from coffers at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills. He was hired as a church administrator four years ago.
"This case is upsetting because there is no way in the world that my client embezzled $900,000," according to a statement from David Diamond, Ahmed's Los Angeles-based attorney. "Pastor Hibbs had unfettered access to the church monies and was never responsible to show or explain how or why the money was being spent."
Diamond said his investigation will include an accounting of the church's finances.
Ahmed appeared on Thursday for an arraignment hearing at the San Bernardino County Superior Courthouse in Chino. The hearing was continued to April 7.
Police on Dec. 23 arrested Ahmed, 47, at his home in the 500 block of Doral Avenue in Ontario on suspicion of felony burglary and embezzlement charges.
The FBI, which is investigating, reported from $720,000 to $960,000 in funds were stolen from the church, said Jack Hibbs, pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills.
"They were shocked and disheartened and they were very tearful," Hibbs said. "They felt very violated."
Ahmed joined Calvary Chapel about 12 years ago.

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