A 72-year-old Indiana woman is facing prison time after she was accused of embezzling nearly $600,000 from the Catholic church where she worked.
The Indy Star reports Marie Carson, 72, of Indianapolis, Indiana, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud.
Over a 13-year period from 2008 to 2021, Carson, who was the parish’s sole staff member responsible for processing its checks, illegally transferred approximately $573,836.59 from the church’s business accounts to her own personal bank account.
Prosecutors claim the monetary loss could in fact be far greater, as Carson admitted to law enforcement that she began skimming off the top in 2004, which is four years earlier than stated in the court documents.
“For more than thirteen years, this defendant abused her position of trust to embezzle money from parishioners intended for a church and school,” Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said in an official statement.
“Her greed and desire for lavish vacations outweighed her interest in following the dictates of our criminal laws and the teachings of her church, ‘thou shalt not steal.’ The sentence imposed today sends a clear message to those who might seek to steal, defraud, and embezzle: we will find you, you will be prosecuted, and you will be held accountable.”
A judge has ordered Carson to pay $573,836.59 in restitution, as well as be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for two years after her release from prison.