Former Muslim guilty of embezzling church money

| November 29, 2010

As a former administrator at a California church is scheduled to serve jail time for embezzling nearly $1 million from the ministry, a lawyer says the incident should be a warning sign to other churches.

Farrukh Ahmed of Ontario pleaded no contest on November 18 at the Chino Superior Court after the former administrator at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills was caught by a staff member with cash in his hand last December. Ahmed has been free on bail since his arrest, but authorities estimate Ahmed embezzled around $750,000 from the church between 2006 and 2009.

Brad Dacus, founder of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), believes full restitution should be made to the church.

Brad Dacus PJI"When individuals engage in this kind of criminal conduct, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he contends. "This individual should be required to repay every penny that [he has] wrongfully taken."

Church pastor Jack Hibbs, whom Dacus describes as one of the most discerning pastors he knows, told the Contra Costa Times in January that Ahmed is a Pakistani-born Muslim who immigrated to the United States and converted to Christianity. But the PJI founder thinks other pastors should be more skeptical of those they ordain in their churches.

"This should be a wake-up call, and the lesson to be shown here is that if it can happen at his church, it could happen anywhere," he warns.

Ahmed, 48, is required to surrender to officials on January 7, which is when he is to begin serving his nine-month jail sentence and repaying $25,000 to the church.

 

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