Saturday, June 1, 2013

Janesville, Wisconsin church secretary embezzled $88,000, police say

The former secretary of a Janesville church wrote nearly $90,000 in forged checks to herself over 10 months last year, according to police reports.

Carrie A. Kolanda, 30, of 9020 S. Nelson Road, Brodhead, was arrested May 14 on felony charges of forgery and theft of more than $10,000, according to Janesville police.

An accountant uncovered 70 checks Kolanda forged for herself from First Congregational United Church of Christ between January and October of 2012, according to police reports.

The checks were written from two church accounts, authorities said, adding up to $88,329.68.

The accountant, David Bagley, requested copies of checks cleared from those accounts last fall after he realized their balances were lower than he expected, police said.

Kolanda was fired in October and admitted to church officials she stole the money, authorities said.

Detective Chris Buescher found the checks were deposited into Anchor Bank accounts—one in Kolanda’s name and another in the names of Kolanda and her 29-year-old boyfriend Darrold F. Selby III, according to reports.

Her father has since repaid the church for what Kolanda stole, but church leaders decided to go to the police with their investigation in March, according to police reports.

Kolanda told police she started forging the checks when she ran out of money because of Selby’s drug addiction, authorities said.

“Carrie denied having any money stored away or saved as a result of this theft,” Janesville police Detective Chris Buescher wrote.

“She said all of the money … was gone from paying bills or his drug use.”

Police booked Kolanda May 14, before releasing her with a mandatory appearance in Rock County court June 17, according to police reports.

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