Ex-administrator at First Churches in Northampton accused of embezzlement

| July 30, 2012

NORTHAMPTON – A former administrator at the First Churches pleaded not guilty Friday to charges she bilked donors to the church and other local service organizations out of nearly $18,000.

Giselle L. Dudley, 42, of 48 Keith St., Springfield, faces 56 charges in Northampton District Court, including 25 counts of check forgery, 25 counts of uttering a false check, five counts of unauthorized access to a computer system and one count of larceny by a single scheme (embezzlement).

According to Northampton Police Detective Patrick D. Moody, the criminal investigation into Dudley's handling of donations to the church began in December 2011 after a donor asked for a tax receipt for her $9,000 contribution.

No such deposit appeared in the church's records, but a copy of the cancelled check from the donor showed that a check in that amount had been made out to the church and endorsed by Dudley.

Dudley told police she had deposited the check, believing it was meant for her as part of a fundraising effort by church members to help her and her family recover from a house fire in June 2011. Dudley told police she had contacted the donor to confirm the intended destination of the money and said she believed it was for her family's recovery efforts.



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Category: Church Security

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