Thursday, March 26, 2009
Former North Carolina Church Finance Administrator Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $946K
Susan Manning Barney, 56, and a former finance administrator for the New Bern, North Carolina-based Garber United Methodist Church, pleaded guilty to 9 felony counts admitting that she embezzled some $946,000 from the church over a 7 year period. The judge sentenced her to 6 years in prison with 5 years probation, plus restitution. According to prosecutors, Barney used a church credit card to make fraudulent purchases and also wrote checks to herself, forging the church treasurer's signature. At her hearing, Barney claimed to have stolen the money to pay for her son's heroin addiction rehabilitation. Investigators say she used the money, in part at least, to buy clothes, a BMW, a Harley Davidson motor cycle and on numerous trips to Costa Rica. Her husband, Her husband Rick Barney, is a former Craven County Sheriff's Office investigator who has resigned from his job since the case came to light. He has reportedly emptied his 401(k) account to help pay the restitution due. Three separate polygraph tests supposedly convinced investigators that Rick Barney was not aware of the thefts. Susan Barney had been employed by the church for 13 years before the misappropriation came to light. The thefts occurred between September 2001 and January 2008.
I am sorry folks, if your spouse steals nearly $1 million over the course of seven years, bringing home roughly $135,000 a year on average, you are going to be aware of the change in lifestyle and extra cash. She looks a bit arrogant in this mug shot, doesn't she?