A Florida woman is accused of stealing more than a million dollars from her church, according to investigators with the Vero Beach Police Department.
Officials recently concluded it during a nine-month investigation into such fraud, after being contacted by the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach.
Investigators claimed that in 2012, Deborah True and former Holy Cross Catholic Church pastor Fr. RichardMurphy, they opened a bank account in the name of “Holy Cross Catholic Church”, without the knowledge of the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach.
Now, according to bank records, Nearly $1.5 million of parishioner donations have been fraudulently deposited into the account since 2015.
The researchers also confirmed that True used more than $500,000 of those funds to pay off personal lines of credit. It was even discovered that an additional $147,000 was withdrawn from the account and deposited into True’s personal checking account.
Police said the former pastor, father Richard Murphy, also personally benefited from the funds in the account, but passed away in 2020.
Ultimately, True turned himself in to the Indian River County Jail on Monday on a racketeering charge and is currently awaiting final trial.
Fire completely destroyed a historic church in Los Angeles, California
In other events, last Sunday, September 11, in the early hours of the morning, a fire completely destroyed a historic church in South Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The fire at Victory Bastist Church broke out shortly before 2:30 am and quickly became a major emergency for the entire community, said Nicholas Prange, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
For its part, Los Angeles Times said Victory Baptist has played quite an important role in the spiritual and political history of South Los Angeles. Therefore, this tragedy will be one of the most remembered for citizens.
Founded in a local store on Easter Sunday, 1943, the church moved to its current building on McKinley Ave a year later. In the 1950s, its Sunday night services were broadcast nationally on television.
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at this church in 1964.
So far it is known that a specialized arson team from House of Worship Task Force It was part of the investigation, which is still ongoing to this day, authorities said.