An elderly woman will spend time in prison for embezzling nearly $600,000 from a church that entrusted her with their funds.
As Fox News reports, Marie Carson worked at Saint Matthew Catholic Church and School from 2008 to 2021 as a business manager. She was responsible for overseeing the church’s finances. In her role, the now 72-year-old was the sole handler of funds going in and out of the parish. During her 13-year career, prosecutors say Carson stole roughly $573,836.59 from the church’s business accounts by transferring the funds to her personal bank account.
The scheme was uncovered in November 2021 while Carson was on leave. The interim business manager discovered several transfers into suspicious-looking accounts that had no association with the church. Looking further into the transactions, the staff member found that over $289,000 was transferred into an account that was in the church’s name, though they did not authorize it. Carson was able to steal the money by keeping fraudulent recordkeeping, seemingly accounting for the funds.
The Department of Justice says Carson and her husband spent a large portion of the money on their extensive gambling habit and vacations. For her brazen actions, Carson will spend the next two years behind bars. Additionally, she will serve two years of probation. The church was able to receive the funds back via an insurance policy that covers fraud. Still, Carson must also pay back the total amount she was convicted of taking.