Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
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.