• What Are Your Biggest Risks? – Church Fraud
    How Secure Are Your Donations? In 2015, a long-time pastor of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church in Tulsa Oklahoma was sentenced to 37 months in prison due to embezzling $1 million from a community center he helped to establish. (Source:FBI) In 2015, a church Treasurer of a Nazarene church in Missouri was sentenced to 21 months in prison for embezzling $192,000. The scheme included unauthorized purchases with church checks at local Walmart stores. (Source: FBI) In 2015, a former Financial Manager of an Electric Cooperative and Church Treasurer pled guilty of stealing over $350,000 in both Cooperative and Church funds by in many cases forging checks drawn on both organizations’ bank accounts.  (Source: FBI) In 2015, a woman pled guilty to stealing nearly $83,000 from a United Methodist Church in Florida.  As a financial secretary and business manager, she manipulated the church payroll and benefits deductions. (Source: FBI) In 2014, a church secretary/bookkeeper of a church in South Carolina was sentenced to 24 months in prison for embezzling over $600,000 of church funds. (Source: FBI) Embezzlement and fraud are happening more often than we would like to think in our churches today.  A Forbes article stated that possibly as much as 95% of fraud within churches goes undetected or unreported.  Some of you might be asking, “How does this happen?”  This issue is of importance to you if you are a pastor, a staff member, or give to a church. You want to ensure the church is being a good steward of their funds.  If any organization should know about money, it should be churches.  A Greg Laurie article mentions that the Bible has more than 2,000 verses on money and that 15% of what Jesus taught was about money and possessions.