Rockford Church Accuses Former Worker of Embezzlement

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Rockford church go missing.

Church leaders are taking action of their own as they wait for charges against the former employee they say stole $340,000 over nearly a decade.

St. Paul Lutheran Church filed a civil lawsuit against Lynn Warner in hopes they may someday get that money back. Pastor David Thies says for nine years Warner oversaw accounts for school tuition and registration funds. He says at first she was taking small amounts, but in the last few years it got much bigger. The pastor says Warner quit in July 2014, shortly after she was confronted.

Rockford Police investigated and handed their findings over to the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office but no charges have been filed.

Pastor Thies hopes the church and school gets its money back and says he's open to forgiveness.

"There might be a possibility of reconciliation and everybody restored back to where they were. A lot of people make mistakes with a lot of different things. A church is about and a school, a Christian school, is about forgiveness and we're all susceptible to sin or mistakes,” he said.

Pastor Thies says the church and school have re-examined their practices and changed the way they keep track of money to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

Warner couldn't be reached for comment.

The two sides will be in court on August 24th.

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