Church embezzler sentenced to year in jail

| December 4, 2012

A former church bookkeeper and first grade teacher was sentenced Monday to a year in jail as part of her probation for embezzling more than $152,000 from the church over eight years.

District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Tracey L. Taylor, 45, of Carson City, to six years in Nevada state prison, suspended, and placed her on five years probation.

She is to pay $152,380.62 restitution to Corpus Christi Catholic Church at $1,000 per month, perform 200 hours of community service, and serve a year in Douglas County Jail.

In exchange for her guilty plea, charges will not be filed against Taylor by Carson City authorities for embezzlement which occurred while the church was located on the grounds of the old Stewart Indian School.

In 2009, the parish moved to property in northern Douglas County where Taylor was working when the embezzlement was discovered in January.

Taylor paid $5,000 of the restitution on Monday.

The Rev. James Setelik, Corpus Christi pastor, testified Monday about the effect the crime had on the parish which he characterized as one of the poorest in the Reno diocese made up of working class parishioners.

“You might not think $152,000 over eight years is a lot of money. But our income is $180,000 a year. She has taken one-eighth of our income over the past eight years,” Setelik said.

Setelik said Taylor was altering computer records so the system would not show discrepancies. The case came to light when an NV Energy representative called Setelik to ask whether the church was paying parishioners' utility bills.

“It was quite a fluke we found out,” he said.

Taylor worked 10 hours a week for the church.

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