Fredericksburg church office manager steals $400k from church coffers

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A former church office manager in Fredericksburg has been sentenced to over two years in federal prison for steal money her church.

Federal prosecutors say 52-year-old Stacey Sanders moved large sums of money from the Memorial Presbyterian Church’s trust account into its operating account without authorization multiple times by forging checks from the trust account to deposit into the operating account.

This process took the balance of the trust account from $193,439.20 in 2009 to $178 by December 2016.

Sanders then wrote herself many unauthorized forged checks from the operating account during that same time period.  To cover up her plot, she would often put false statements on the check’s memo line, like “social security offset,”additional payroll,” or “cleaning supplies.”

“It’s hard to believe that this had to be said, but stealing from houses of worship is really, really wrong.  When you defraud a bank to do it, it can become a federal case,” U.S. Attorney John Bash stated.

Sanders pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud in March 2018.  She was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison Wednesday.

In addition to her prison term, she was ordered to pay $400,087.26 to the church and $20,219.43 to Security State Bank.