Church secretary faces theft charges

| January 4, 2010

LADY LAKE — A former church secretary who admitted she used church funds for a vacation cruise, her children's dance lessons and other personal expenses faces two dozen theft-related charges including several felonies.

Kimberly Alonso, 28, of Wildwood, who had worked at St. George Episcopal Church in The Villages, maxed out a church credit card at $10,000 in about six months, a Lady Lake police investigation revealed.

The thefts were discovered when Alonso left on maternity leave.

According to a police report, Alonso, as the church secretary, intercepted the credit-card bills, fielded calls from collection agencies and installed a program on the church computer that allowed her to receive the pastor's e-mail.

She told police that she was "buying time" by intercepting the delinquent bills and sending e-mails to collection agencies assuring them that payment was on its way.

Investigators compiled a list of fraudulent charges that were made with a church credit card at gas stations, grocery stores, shoe stores, a wireless company and over the Internet with the Royal Caribbean cruise line.

Police also discovered Alonso stole a check from the pastor's discretionary fund, forged his signature and took it to a check-cashing agency where she received $800. She also bought a laptop with another church credit card.

Alonso did not return a call seeking comment.,0,949535.story

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Category: Church Security