FATHER AND SON PASTORS TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING MORE THAN $1 MILLION FROM CHURCH

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 07NF2349


August 15, 2007

Contact:

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

FATHER AND SON PASTORS TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING MORE THAN $1 MILLION FROM CHURCH

FULLERTON – A father and son have been charged with stealing more than $1 million from Calvary Baptist Yorba Linda Church and School while working there as pastors. Richard Wimberly Cunningham, 74, Moreno Valley, and his son Philip Ladd Cunningham, 50, Laurinburg, North Carolina, are charged with felony grand theft and felony conspiracy to defraud another of property with sentencing enhancement allegations for taking property over $1 million. If convicted the Cunningham’s face a maximum sentence of six years in state prison.  They were released on their own recognizance and are scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, August 16, 2007 at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

 

Between May 1, 2001 and April 30, 2006, the defendants are accused of stealing more than $1 million from the church where both worked as pastors. They are accused of stealing money that came from church offerings and givings, and using it for personal benefit. Cunningham and Cunningham had complete control of eight church bank accounts, and are accused of moving money between accounts to hide their crime and making withdrawals as cash or unauthorized payments to themselves. The pastors are also accused of using credit cards that had been issued to them by the church for unauthorized personal expenses.

 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Doug Brannan of the Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting this case.

 

###