A former administrative assistant for Chicopee Baptist Church allegedly made roughly $163,000 in unauthorized purchases on the church’s credit card over the course of five years, according to authorities.
The Hall County Sheriff’s Office took the case April 25 after church officials said they noticed fraudulent charges on the church credit card.
The Rev. Clyde Self said they moved financial services to a certified public accountant in April.
Stacy Lynne Richardson, 36, of Gainesville, had handled the books before her position was eliminated April 14.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said investigators believe Richardson made numerous unauthorized purchases on the credit card worth roughly $163,000 going back to January 2015.
“The preliminary investigation also revealed that on April 22, Richardson remotely accessed the church’s computer system without authority with the intention of deleting files. She was no longer employed by the church at the time,” Booth wrote in a news release.
Richardson was charged with felony theft by deception and felony computer trespass, and she was arrested Saturday, May 2, at her residence.
She was released Monday, May 4, on a $8,450 bond.
“It’s my understanding that they were ordinary purchases an average person would make. They included groceries, gift cards and books,” Booth wrote in an email.
Defense attorney Michael George did not immediately return a call for comment Monday, May 4.
“These results trigger a call to prayer for the families involved, for our Chicopee Baptist Church
family, and for the body of Christ at large in our community,” Self wrote in a statement. “Further, this matter remains in the hands of law enforcement and we cannot comment on any more details.”