Brooklyn Park woman accused of embezzling more than $230,000 from church

| June 2, 2013

A Brooklyn Park woman siphoned off more than $230,000 from a regional church office where she worked, padding her paychecks and diverting money through other schemes for more than seven years, according to criminal charges.

The Hennepin County attorney's office charged Raenay Liane Hendrickson, 50, on Friday with seven counts of felony theft-by-swindle.

Hendrickson worked as a bookkeeper for the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America from July 1996 until July 2012, when she was fired, according to the criminal complaint. She had control over the finances and financial records of the church.

An attorney for the synod turned over records to Minneapolis police in March that revealed Hendrickson's conduct, the complaint said.

The records showed the following, according to the complaint:

— Checks to Hendrickson that appear as legitimate paychecks but were for higher amounts.

— Checks made out to Hendrickson but recorded in the financial ledger as payments to other church employees.

— Checks to Hendrickson or for her benefit appeared in the ledger as payments to vendors.

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Category: Church Security

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