DA: Former employee steals $100K from church

| June 2, 2010

TYNGSBOROUGH, Mass. — A former church employee in Tyngsborough has been accused of stealing more than $100,000 from donation baskets over the course of several years, according to police.

The District Attorney said that 47-year-old Donna Rood has been working for St. Mary Magdalan’s Church in Dracut and Tyngsborough since 2003, counting the money placed in collection baskets during three Sunday Masses.

In May, the parish priest made his own count of the weekly collection before Rood did. He counted $127, while Rood counted $97.

The next week, parishioners joined the priest’s count, and reached a total that was substantially higher than Rood’s figure. They also noticed that some of the big bills they had seen were missing.

A woman at Rood’s house told 7NEWS that the woman has done nothing wrong.

At the church, Sunday collections are way up since Rood was fired, just like they were during weeks while she was on vacation.

"Here we are, Christians, going to church, trying to donate to such a good cause, and to have somebody that, if it's true, it's really unfortunate that somebody couldn't see past that and they were in a situation they felt they needed to scam. It's just really, really disappointing," said Tom Brackett, a parishioner.

Investigators said mysterious deposits showed up in Rood’s bank account after Sunday Masses while she was working at the church. They said those deposits aren’t there anymore.

A grand jury indicted Rood on charges of embezzlement. No date has been set for an arraignment.



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Category: Church Security

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