Key point 7-21. Embezzlement refers to the wrongful conversion of funds that are lawfully in one's possession. Embezzlement is a common occurrence in churches because of weak internal controls.
A North Carolina court upheld the conviction of a woman who embezzled funds from the church and a school district office where she worked as a bookkeeper. In 2008, a woman (the "defendant") began work as a secretary for a public school district. Her responsibilities included purchasing food and non-food items for school meetings, training sessions, and programs. Purchases were typically conducted with a school district credit card. The school district also reimbursed employees, such as the defendant, for purchases made using personal funds and for any mileage expenses incurred.
Also beginning in 2008, defendant worked as the bookkeeper for a church. As church bookkeeper, she was responsible for paying the church's bills, keeping all financial records, and providing the church with quarterly financial reports.