Prosecutor: Embezzled church money went to plastic surgery, shopping

| May 8, 2011

DANVILLE — Payments to a Blackhawk plastic surgeon. Charges to Bloomingdale's. Purchasing a dog from the Animal Rescue Foundation and a Pilates machine.

This is where just some of the nearly $600,000 embezzled from St. Isidore's Catholic Church went during the last five years, according to the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office.

Two former church employees, Kathleen Dake, 58, of Blackhawk, and Virgilio Lukban, 46, of Danville, were arrested Monday and have each been charged with five counts of embezzlement — one count for each year they are accused of taking part in the scheme, said Steve Bolen, Contra Costa County deputy district attorney.

Church member and volunteer Evelyn Peinado, 64, of Alamo, has been charged with three counts of embezzlement. Investigators believe she was taking church funds for three years.

All three are believed to have misused church-issued credit cards and Dake is also accused of using checks from St. Isidore's.

Peinado and Lukban have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Dake, who is believed to have spent the lion's share of the money, is due back in court Thursday for the naming of her attorney and to enter a plea.

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Category: Church Security

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