Sunday, February 28, 2016

Former church treasurer spent embezzled money on escorts, porn & drugs, judge says

 A former church treasurer spent hundreds of thousands of dollars he embezzled on a life of excess, including drugs, pornography and escorts, according to a Butler County judge.

Garry D. Meyer, 61, previously pleaded guilty to aggravated theft. He was sentenced Monday to five years in prison, the Journal-News reported.

Initially, a police report indicated, about $400,000 was stolen from Tri-County Baptist Church. But that amount eventually rose to more than $800,000, the Journal-News reported, which meant Meyer was indicted in December on a second-degree felony.

Garry Meyer
Meyer stole the money over the course of about 14 years, according to the indictment.

Tri-County Baptist's senior pastor, Brian McManus, said Meyer called him and confessed in October. At Monday's sentencing, McManus said Meyer's confession came only after his wife found out what he'd been doing.

Prosecutors said Meyer spent the money on his frequent trips to Florida, which, according to Judge Michael Oster, included cars, credit cards, porn, drugs and "high-end escorts," the Journal-News reported.

Meyer's wife began sobbing when her husband spoke to Oster before sentencing.

He told the court there was no excuse for what he'd done, then told his wife: "I am sorry for betraying your trust … you have always been the best part of my life."

McManus said Meyer's embezzlement hurt not only the congregation, but also more than 100 missionaries. The former treasurer vowed to work on fixing the relationships he'd destroyed, the Journal-News reported.

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