Friday, August 2, 2013

Employee embezzles $500,000 from church in Virginia

 A woman was arrested in Suffolk Monday for embezzlement charges related to a church in Chesterfield, Va.'s sister station in Richmond, WWBT, reports Jerri S. Hunter, 39, embezzled more than $500,000 from the Chester United Methodist Church over several years.

Hunter was the Chesterfield church's finance administrator, according to police, who are not sure exactly how much money she took.

Virginia State Police arrested Hunter in Suffolk Monday and charged her with 11 counts of felony embezzlement. Three more felony embezzlement warrants were issued Wednesday.

She is being held at the Riverside Regional Jail.

 It's a crime many would consider an unholy act: stealing money from a church.

Chesterfield Police say 39-year-old Jerri Hunter stole $500,000 from the Chester United Methodist Church over several years.

On Monday morning, she will be have the chance to defend herself at the Chesterfield Courthouse.

Hunter is behind bars on 11 counts of felony embezzlement.  She is being held without bond.

Police say Hunter was not a member of the church, but she did work for Chester United Methodist.

Church leaders say they're still trying to recover from such a hard hit. They say they're seeking justice, but with compassion.

In May, the church relieved Hunter of her duties.

Initially, church leaders thought the lack of funds stemmed from a weak economy. After a closer look, state police say Hunter was behind it all.

Hunter could face more charges.

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