Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Pastor’s Confession of Embezzlement Admissible Due to Lack of Coercion
California
Key point. Confessions of embezzlement of church funds to a government investigator are admissible in a future criminal prosecution so long as they are voluntary, and not made during a custodial interrogation unless a Miranda warning is provided in advance.

A federal court in California concluded that a pastor's confession to two IRS agents that he stole over $1 million from his church, and did not report the stolen funds as taxable income on his tax return, was voluntary and not coerced, and was not made during a custodial interrogation. Therefore, the confession was admissible in a criminal prosecution of the defendant, even though he had not been given a Miranda warning. At approximately 1:45 p.m. on the afternoon of October 17, 2012, two special agents of the IRS Criminal Investigations Unit approached a priest (the "defendant") in the parking lot of a Catholic church. As the agents approached the priest, they identified themselves, displayed their badges, and asked whether they could ask him questions regarding his tax returns.

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Related Topics:
Posted: December 27, 2016
View All
from our store
Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts

Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts

Help your members give more by answering their charitable giving and tax law questions.
Internal Controls for Church Finances

Internal Controls for Church Finances

Learn how to protect your church's money.
Essential Guide to Money for Church Boards

Essential Guide to Money for Church Boards

Church board members should have a basic understanding of these financial issues.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.