Church Claims Minister Embezzled $350,000

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) – A Pentecostal minister embezzled more than $350,000 from his church to buy a Lincoln and a Nissan Altima and pay off loans, the World of Pentecost Church claims in Franklin County Court. The Rev. David A. Thompson left virtually no church account undrained, taking money from day care, missions, charity and other funds, the church says.

     The church claims that Thompson, of Canal Winchester, Ohio, “diverted funds from the World of Pentecost’s building fund, its assistance fund, its day care account, its general fund, its missionary fund, its bank accounts, and from other assets of the Church” while he was its pastor, from 2000 to 2007.
     It claims that Thompson also “fraudulently obtained loans from Fairfield National Bank and used those proceeds for his own personal use” and “misappropriated Church funds to make payments on the loans.”
     Fairfield National Bank is also named as a defendant.
     The church says it initially sued Thompson and the bank over “a certain mortgage loan transaction in the Church’s name that defendant Thompson had obtained from defendant FNB without the Church’s authority.”
     In the course of that litigation, the church says, it came upon other problem loans. It claims that Thompson had “forged signatures of Church officers on documents relating to the loans” and used the embezzled money to “purchase a Nissan Altima, pay off pre-existing loans and purchase a Lincoln automobile,” the complaint states.
     The church adds that for years, Rev. Thompson “altered records and financial reports of the Church in order to conceal his actions and intending to induce the Church to believe that its funds were still in its possession.”
     The complaint does not state what became of Pastor Thompson.
     The church seeks more than $350,000, and a judgment that the loans taken out in its name are void and unenforceable. It is represented by Craig Scott with Volkema, Thomas, Miller & Scott.

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