EDITION: US | UK | Canada
Thecapitalpost.com - Breaking, International, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Technology and Video NewsThecapitalpost.com - Breaking, International, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Technology and Video News
Sign In|Sign Up
 
 
Bridging The Gap
Bookkeeper accused of taking almost $270,000 from church.
  Saturday 26 January, 2019
Bookkeeper accused of taking almost $270,000 from church.

A former Gadsden church bookkeeper/treasurer/pianist was arrested Wednesday, accused of stealing almost $270,000 from a small church during her tenure there.

Deborah K. Coker, 60, was charged with one count of first-degree theft by deception, Gadsden Detective Clark Thompson said. She has been released on $5,000 bond.

Thompson said police investigated the theft of money during at 10-year period at the McCauley’s Chapel Methodist Church on Tabor Road.

The theft came to light after the church’s pastor, Curtis Scott, returned from a furlough and noticed some accounts had been seriously depleted.

“As a pastor, I don’t handle any money,” Scott said. “My job is to preach the gospel, and grow disciples.”

There were others at the church who should have received bank statements, he said — the chief of trustees, the board of administrators and the secretary — but the bookkeeper had stopped that, and no one said anything.

At business meetings, Scott said, “they were shown spreadsheets that showed what she wanted us to see.”

“All the bills were being paid,” for the church, Thompson said, so no one had any reason to suspect anything was wrong.

But they found evidence that Coker had been paying personal bills out of church accounts, Thompson said, including payments to a mortgage company, Alabama Power, Verizon, Lowe’s, Sears, Belk, J.C. Penney and many others.

Scott said he started looking at bank accounts and had an audit done that uncovered the scope of the theft.

The woman received a salary from the church, Thompson explained, but she’d been paying herself multiple times a month.

The pastor said when he confronted her about the theft, she admitted it.

“We were just sad and shocked,” Scott said. She had been at the church a long time, he said, “Longer than I’ve been here.

“We thought it was our responsibility to the community and our obligation to our faith to turn it over to the authorities,” he said.

Scott said he believes there’s a message McCauley’s Chapel can share with other churches: trust but verify.

That’s part of why he chose to speak about the theft. The woman arrested, he said, is a very talented pianist, and he could see something like this happening at another church as well.

Thompson said churches need to have some checks and balances when it comes to money. The business of the church needs to be handled like a business.

“Your treasurer and your bookkeeper should never be the same person,” he said. “Be aware that this kind of thing can and does happen.”

Sgt. John Hallman said no one else was involved in the theft at McCauley Chapel.

He said he’s concerned that some churches or businesses, if they see evidence of embezzlement, may just sweep it under the rug.

“They may worry about their reputation and never bring charges,” he said. “I think anytime you are a victim of something like this, you need to notify authorities.”

Scott said automatic payments had been set up for a mortgage and other bills, coming out of church accounts.

He said a couple of loans had been taken out to put money back into church accounts, but the payments on the loans were being made out of church accounts, too.

McCauley’s Chapel is a small church, Scott said.

“A little smaller, after this,” he said. “It’s affected us a little bit. I think we’ll be fine.

“It’s brought us together a little, too. We’re definitely going to be little more careful,” Scott said.

Etowah detention center shakedown nets contrabandPosted Jan 25 at 9:44 PM
Etowah County Sheriff Jonathon Horton started hearing complaints about contraband in the jail a few days after taking office and decided action was needed. Thursday, deputies, investigators, jail staff, U.S. Marshals drug agents and agents of the Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit went into the jail for a shakedown and found a lot of thing that shouldn’t have been there. There was a table full of items — improvised weapons, ropes, DVDS among them — on display at a press conference Friday, and a room full of “soft” contraband off the salle port at the back of the jail...

Bookkeeper accused of taking almost $270,000 from churchPosted Jan 25 at 9:43 PM
A former Gadsden church bookkeeper/treasurer/pianist was arrested Wednesday, accused of stealing almost $270,000 from a small church during her tenure there. Deborah K. Coker, 60, was charged with one count of first-degree theft by deception, Gadsden Detective Clark Thompson said. She has been released on $5,000 bond. Thompson said police investigated the theft of money during at 10-year period at the McCauley’s Chapel Methodist Church on Tabor Road. The theft came to light after the church’s pastor, Curtis Scott, returned from a furlough and noticed some accounts had been seriously depleted...

1.26 Gadsden City GrissomPosted Jan 25 at 9:32 PM
President Trump signs temporary funding bill, ending longest shutdown in historyPosted Jan 25 at 10:26 AM
Submitting to mounting pressure amid growing disruption, President Donald Trump agreed to a deal Friday to reopen the government for three weeks, backing down from his demand that Congress give him money for his border wall before federal agencies get back to work.

Measles outbreak grows in northwest US, 30 cases reportedPosted Jan 25 at 5:45 PM
Twenty-six of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles and the vaccination status of four others who were infected is unknown. One person has been hospitalized.

Entertainers address social injustice issues at Super BowlPosted Jan 25 at 4:31 PM
Big-name entertainers believe social injustice needs to be addressed during the Super Bowl and are ensuring the topic that ignited a political firestorm that engulfed the NFL will be in the spotlight.

Gallant-area man becomes third traffic fatality this weekPosted Jan 25 at 12:40 PM
A Gallant-area man died on the way to UAB Hospital Friday morning from injuries sustained in a collision at the intersection of Gallant Road and Alabama Highway 77, according to Etowah County Coroner London Pearce. Robert Lowell Hyland, 79, was fatally injured when his vehicle collided with an 18-wheeler as he pulled onto Alabama Highway 77 from Gallant Road, Pearce said. He is the third person to die in a traffic accident this week in Etowah County. Karen Darlene Treece, 42, of Gadsden, was killed in a two-vehicle crash Wednesday evening on Interstate 759...

Unity/MLK ParadePosted Jan 25 at 3:46 PM
Icy blast reminds of 2014 ‘polar vortex,’ with worst to comePosted Jan 25 at 3:30 PM
Forecasters called it a replay of the “polar vortex” that bludgeoned the U.S. in 2014 — and maybe even colder, with wind chills by midweek as much as 45 below in Chicago.

Dueling Venezuela leaders dig in defending presidency claimsPosted Jan 25 at 1:30 PM
In one of the dueling press conferences, Juan Guaido urged thousands of supporters gathered in a Caracas plaza to hold a mass protest again next week as he moves forward with proposals of amnesty for military leaders and the arrival of humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, Nicolas Maduro spoke at the same time before a room of journalists and decried what he called a coup against his government.

Trump confidant Roger Stone is arrested, faces obstruction chargePosted Jan 25 at 6:48 AM
The seven-count indictment against Stone, a self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” with a long history with Trump, is the first criminal case in months from special counsel Robert Mueller.

FAA: Increase in sick leave causing flight delaysPosted Jan 25 at 11:30 AM
The delays come as a partial government shutdown threatens to undermine the nation’s air travel system. Air traffic controllers and airport security agents have been working without pay since the federal shutdown began in December, but high absentee rates raise the possibility of long airport lines, or even worse.

Japan court upholds sterilization to register gender changePosted Jan 25 at 9:30 AM
The court said the law is constitutional because it was meant to reduce confusion in families and society. But it acknowledged that it restricts freedom and could become out of step with changing social values.

Glencoe Elementary closed Friday because of batsPosted Jan 24 at 7:31 PM
Glencoe Elementary School will be closed Friday after bats were discovered in the building, so that a specialist can come in to take care of the problem. Etowah County Schools Superintendent Alan Cosby said officials decided to “err on the side of caution” and close the school Friday, which will give three days to resolve the issue. He said he expects school to resume Monday, and be bat-free.

Official: Asylum seekers to wait in Mexico starting FridayPosted Jan 24 at 8:45 AM
The Trump administration on Friday will start forcing some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. courts, an official said, launching what could become one of the more significant changes to the immigration system in years.

Maduro orders Venezuelan diplomats out of US as crisis growsPosted Jan 24 at 5:30 PM
Nicolas Maduro warned that if U.S. officials “have any sense” they will pull out their own diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, rather than defying his order for them to leave.






source:https://www.gadsdentimes.com/news/20190125/bookkeeper-accused-of-taking-almost-270000-from-church

Bookmark and Share
 
Post Your Comments:
Name :
*
City / State:
*
Email address:
*
Type your comments:
*
Enter Security Code:   


 Latest News »
 
  Tree planted by Trump and Macr...
  Queen Elizabeth greets Donald ...
  Donald Trump to formally decla...
  Trump: I was 'not informed' ab...
  President blasts Biden, Democr...
  Missouri Gov. Mike Parson sign...
  Trump attacks Rep. Amash as a ...
  Donald Trump says 'controversi...
  'We would like to get to yes:'...
  Melania Trump hosts the 141st ...
  Donald Trump golfs with Rush L...
  Donald Trump to campaign in Wi...
  Trump celebrates Fox Business ...
  Trump-Kim summit: Fact checkin...
  Trump says U.S., China reach d...
  Trump touts economy, criminal ...
  California sues Trump over nat...
  Donald Trump declares national...
  Read President Trump's full St...
  Trump: I will wait until 'Shut...
 

Washington, DC

  ©2010 The Capital Post. All rights reserved.