Hillsboro man charged in church embezzlement case

| November 30, 2009

A former Concord Township church treasurer in Highland County accused of embezzling money from the church for years was arraigned earlier this month on theft and records-tampering charges.

According to the Highland County Sheriff's Office, Dennis L. Butler, 68, of Hillsboro, was arrested after an investigation into the embezzlement allegations sparked by concerns voiced by the church board to the sheriff's office. He was indicted by a grand jury Nov. 3 and arraigned in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Nov. 5.

Butler faces one count of third-degree-felony theft based on the amount of money involved, and one count of third-degree-felony tampering with records.

Authorities said Butler used the church's money — to the tune of more than $202,000 over five years — for his own personal gain. The tampering charge comes from allegations he created fictitious accounting records.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Butler was working as an insurance and investment agent at the time, and part of the alleged theft involved misappropriation of funds from annuities owned by the church that Butler was responsible for managing as an investment adviser.

He also has been a notable figure in the county, including service on the Hillsboro Planning Commission, the Highland County Republican Central Committee and Highland County Board of MRDD.

Butler turned himself in to the sheriff's office the day after his indictment and was given a $10,000 bond.



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Category: Church Security

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