Fraud in the Church – What the Survey Tells Us

The occurrence of occupational fraud in the church community continues to rise at epidemic proportions.  Evidence of this is found in the steady flow of news accounts reporting churches hit with fraud:

  • The Archdiocese of New York was bilked to the tune of $1M.
  • Incredibly, so was the Archdiocese of Philly.
  • A pastor in Grand Rapids Michigan is on the hot seat for stealing between 50K and 100K by using church bank accounts and credit cards.
  • A woman in Ohio is accused of stealing $143K from the church where she was employed. (Unbelievably in an attempt to cover up her deeds, she sent an appeal letter asking each member to send $200 to the church to cover a church debt!)

Just in the past year we have been called in to help clients deal with:

  • A church employee who refused to be accountable for credit card usage.
  • A treasurer who used his position to steal from the church.
  • A day care director who skimmed from the tuition receipts.
  • A church hit by vendor fraud.
  • A church bookkeeper who paid personal expenses with church funds.

In an effort to find out what is going on, PSK in cooperation with the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA)  is in the process of conducting a survey to determine the extent to which churches are attempting to address this problem.  In the following weeks we will be posting some of our preliminary findings.

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