Woman pleads guilty in Visalia church embezzlement case

| October 9, 2011

A church bookkeeper who stole more than $2 million from collection plates over a period of seven years at Visalia First Assembly of God Church pleaded guilty Friday to 13 counts of felony embezzlement and money laundering with special allegations, according to the Tulare County District Attorney's Office.

Sandra Arreola, 52, faces 11 years in state prison, said Deputy District Attorney Mitch Niayesh. Her sentencing is scheduled Oct. 27 in Tulare County Superior Court, Department 3. During the last conference Friday — before her scheduled preliminary hearing on Oct. 17 — she showed no emotion, he said.

"At first, they didn't want to plead what the judge handed out," he said. "At the last minute, she changed her mind."



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Category: Church Security

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