Church employee charged with taking checks, cashing them on her lunch break

| May 13, 2010

A Morristown woman is accused of taking out more than a hundred of the church's checks, signing them out to herself, and cashing them on her lunch break.

Nearly $500,000 is missing from the First Baptist Church of Morristown. Employee Barbara Whitt, 68, has been accused of the theft of $124,280 of it.

During the month of March, church records indicate church employee Barbara D. Whitt had printed up more than a hundred checks from the church's account, each for more than $900.

Investigators say the checks would start in the church's accounting program made out to CASH, and that Whitt would get one of the church's authorized signers to sign off on the check.

But later, she'd go back with a typewriter and add "-Barbara Whitt" to the checks, investigators say. Then she'd cash the checks at Suntrust Bank between noon and 12:20.

Her lunch break starts at noon.

In all, there is at least $496,000 missing, and the total is expected to climb.

Investigators have taken Whitt's typewriter ribbon, complete with several "-Barbara Whitt" markings, into evidence, along with Suntrust Bank surveillance video of Whitt cashing checks.

The complaint against Whitt indicates she printed 132 checks between February 24 and March 29, totaling $124,280. A warrant for her arrest was issued on Monday, May 10.

Church administrators first noticed a problem on May 8.

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Category: Church Security