Former President of Southbury Synagogue Admits Embezzling Over $500,000

| June 3, 2013

The former President of Beth El Synagogue in Southbury pleaded guilty Friday to one count of mail fraud stemming from her embezzlement of more than $500,000 from the synagogue.   

Jodi Churchill, 45, of Orange, waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to the charge.   

According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning in November 2010, while serving as the vice president of the Beth El Synagogue, Churchill began embezzling funds.  In June 2011, Churchill became president of the synagogue and used her new position to open a checking account and a money market account in the name of the synagogue.  Churchill was the only signatory on the accounts.    

Initially, Churchill opened the accounts using the synagogue’s business address in Southbury, but in 2011, she directed the bank to change the mailing address on the accounts to her residence in Orange.  Thereafter, all bank statements for accounts were mailed to Churchill’s home address, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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