MOORE, Okla. – Two former treasurers of a small church in Moore are accused of stealing more than $134,000 from their work.
Marsha Jones and Barbara Colbert were co-treasurers of the First Indian Baptist Church for years.
After constantly coming up short on cash, church leaders started asking questions, and they weren’t getting the bank records requested from the two in charge of finances.
“It just began to not make sense as to, ‘Well where’s all this money going? We should have way more than what’s in this account,'” said Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis.
After they retained an outside company to conduct an audit, Jones resigned. Colbert took over, allegedly telling her bosses they couldn’t afford an audit.
Then she resigned as well just before a church member and the company she worked for conducted an audit.
“Once the audit came in, it was clear they had been taking money and ended up being quite a bit of money,” Sgt. Lewis said.
According to police, the audit found that between 2013 and 2018, Jones allegedly embezzled more than $98,000, while Colbert is accused of taking more than $35,000. Altogether, the two allegedly got away with $134,000.
“The only money that that church can get is from members from the church most likely that was all just donations,” Sgt. Lewis said.
Court documents show the women wrote each other checks, made ATM withdrawals, and credit and debit card purchases. Colbert allegedly told police she “used the money to help people,” and that she “only used about $2,000” for herself.
News 4 tried to get her side of the story. She and her husband came to the door, and her husband said they didn’t know she had a warrant for her arrest, or that charges had been filed. He said they had spoken to law enforcement and worked everything out.
Both women are charged with felony embezzlement.