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Protecting Church Members

How can we keep our members from being taken advantage of financially?

Question:
An older woman from a foreign country, who calls herself a prophet, appeared at our church and solicited financial support from our congregants in exchange for praying over our cathedral for approximately six months. An affluent member of the church volunteered to let her stay in his home. No one knows anything about this woman—who is quite assertive—and exactly where she is from. She continually talks about not having any money for her trips, and yet she wears expensive jewelry and outfits. Some of us are concerned. How can a church protect itself from such strangers showing up and taking advantage of the generosity of members of a congregation?

Answer: According to some reports, nearly two-thirds of all financial frauds were promoted through common church involvement. The promoters take advantage of the trust developed through their common church affiliation, ...

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Frank Sommerville is an attorney and shareholder in the law firm of Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber, P. C. in Houston and Dallas, Texas, and an Editorial Advisor for Church Law & Tax.

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Posted:
  • January 25, 2011

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