Manager allegedly stole from church

| November 8, 2011

TRAVERSE CITY — Carolyn Lavon Burns asked Grand Traverse County sheriff's Detective Paul Gomez to step onto her porch when he appeared at her Crown Golf Course home to discuss theft accusations.

Burns, 61, the business manager at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Blair Township, said she knew police eventually would show up to discuss her "stealing money from the church," Gomez's written report stated.

Burns told Gomez her family didn't know she'd embezzled from St. Patrick for two-plus years. She stole to support the family, she told Gomez, and she wanted to break the news to them.

Documents allege Burns was promoted to church business manager in 2009, and soon launched into a theft spree that included writing checks to herself and her husband's company, stealing from the collection plate and using church credit cards to buy groceries and other household items.

A church accountant estimated Burns embezzled close to $73,000.

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Category: Church Security

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