Man charged with 10 counts in theft from church fund

| April 22, 2013

A Dodge County man suspected of stealing as much as $250,000 from his church's endowment fund has been charged with 10 counts of theft and four counts of identity theft.

James Schlieve of Ixonia has admitted taking at least $190,000 from Zion Lutheran Church in Ashippun, where he served on the church council and controlled the endowment checkbook.

A separate investigation is continuing into alleged thefts from the Ashippun Lions Club, where Schlieve managed the books.

Schlieve's attorney said he intends to reimburse both organizations, most likely from his retirement account with a local company. The amount due is still being calculated, he said.

"We're cooperating fully. It's Mr. Schlieve's intention to pay in full at the earliest time that we can do that," said attorney Bill Gergen.

"We do not want to litigate this any more than is necessary."

Zion's pastor, the Rev. Bob Thays, discovered the funds missing late last year and reported it to police. The theft prompted the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America its congregations to adopt stronger financial controls.

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Category: Church Security

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