Church Financial Secretary steals $216,000–Asks for Forgiveness–Arraigned This Week–Could Be More Victims

| October 1, 2009

The Orange County District Attorney charged Crystina Renee Bock, 37, Ladera Ranch, with 62 felony counts of grand theft with sentencing enhancement and allegations for aggravated white collar crime exceeding $100,000 and losses over $100,000. Bock faces a maximum sentence of 45 years and eight months in state prison if convicted. AT the arraignment hearing on Monday, her attorney requested and received a continuance until 10/14/09 to enter a plea. Also continued was a hearing on bail. She remains in custody.

Arrested last week after a year long investigation, Bock was formerly the financial secretary for the Compass Bible Church, CBC, in Aliso Viejo. She assisted with accounting for offerings and payments made to CBC by congregants. Bock prepared the church’s deposits each week, updated the electronic financial records, and sent contribution statements to the congregants documenting their donations for tax purposes.

Between June 2005 and September 2008, Bock is accused of taking over 440 congregants’ donation checks and depositing them into her personal account. Bock is accused of writing her personal account number on the back of CBC checks before making the deposits. The defendant is also accused of altering the church’s financial records to make the contribution statements reflect the congregants’ contributions for that year.

According to the criminal complaint, Bock admitted her theft to church officials last September and provided them with a listing of stolen checks which totaled $216,067.27. The church’s business administrator, Rick Talcott, declined to indicate what portion of the church’s receipts the theft represented. He said the 2,500 member church does not publicly disclose its financial statements or budget. But, it seems that the church is not the one left holding the theft depleted purse. According to prosecutor Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit, much of the lost money was reimbursed to the church by the credit union which accepted the stolen checks for deposit.

Labreche said Bock is married with three children and is not a homeowner. Labreche indicated that no assets have been recovered from the defendant. "We have not found any. We’ve checked nationwide for property in her name or her husband’s name, and we were unable to find anything." With regard to what happened to the money, Labreche indicated that the family had three children in private school, the husband works at Cosco and the money could have been used to supplement their income. "She just spent it."

Labreche also told your Editors that Bock is "suspected of thefts from some other employers, including a Jewish synagogue. Based on what we found, she likely stole from a {another} church and also from her former in-law’s company." The criminal complaint also states that "Crystina sent several e-mails and letters stating what she had done and asking for forgiveness."

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Category: Church Security, Synagogue/Jewish Security

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