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Handle Financial Theft at Church

What do you do after you discover the crime?

Handle Financial Theft at Church

In some cases, a person who has embezzled church funds will voluntarily confess—usually out of fear that he or she is about to get caught. However, in many cases, the embezzler does not confess—at least not initially. Several discrepancies or irregularities may cause church leaders to suspect an individual of embezzlement. Consider the following examples.

EXAMPLE A: The same person has counted church offerings for many years. The pastor inadvertently notices that offerings are always higher when this person is absent (due to illness, business, or vacation).

EXAMPLE B: Church officials notice that their church's bookkeeper has a higher standard of living than is realistic for her income. Among other things, she has purchased an expensive home and a luxury car.

EXAMPLE C: Church offerings have remained constant, or only increased slightly, despite significant increases in attendance. ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • March 1, 2013

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