FORMER BOOKKEEPER SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS IN PRISON FOR STEALING OVER $129,000 FROM CHURCH BY WRITING 154 CHECKS TO HERSELF

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


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

For Immediate Release
Case # 10CF2349






March 24, 2011

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

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

FORMER BOOKKEEPER SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS IN PRISON FOR STEALING OVER $129,000 FROM CHURCH BY WRITING
154 CHECKS TO HERSELF

 

SANTA ANA – A former bookkeeper for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Tustin was sentenced today to two years and eight months in state prison for stealing over $129,000 from the church accounts by writing 154 checks to herself.  Elyse Marie Kennedy, 37, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty today to two felony counts of forgery and will face a restitution hearing June 24, 2011, in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

Between January 2007 and January 2009, Kennedy was entrusted by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church as bookkeeper to solely maintain their money accounts and financial records.  Kennedy stole over $129,000 from the church by writing 154 checks to herself from the church’s bank accounts without the knowledge or consent of church authorities.

 

In January 2009, Kennedy took the financial records from the church and suddenly failed to show up for work. Church officials obtained records from their bank, discovered that funds were missing from their accounts, and contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated this case. 

 

Deputy District Attorney Sean O’Brien of the White Collar Crime Team prosecuted this case.

 

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