Law & Disorder: House arrest for woman, 78, in church embezzlement

| April 7, 2012

A disabled 78-year-old Jacksonville woman recently pleaded guilty to embezzling $161,000 from a church and was sentenced to two years of house arrest and restitution of the entire sum.

Upgrades to an accounting system at Terry Road Baptist Church where Betty Barnes worked as the accountant led to the discovery of the missing funds, the pastor and other employees told police. Barnes, who uses a wheelchair, had worked at the church for about 15 years.

Police said Barnes had written inflated weekly paychecks to herself and voided other checks that she actually cashed. As the accountant, she prepared false financial statements that showed money in the church’s checking account that was not there. A new online accounting system showed that the money began to go missing in 2006.


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Category: Church Security

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