Church secretary charged with embezzling $84K

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UNION CITY, Tenn. — A church secretary has been arrested on accusations of stealing more than $84,000 from First Christian Church where she worked. Nancy Reed is charged with theft over $60,000 after an audit revealed she had embezzled a total of $84,889 from the church over a four-year period, according to a report from the Union City Police Department. Police say the church’s board members contacted them Sept. 29 and turned over their financial records to an accountant for an audit. “They should make her pay it back,” resident Mary Newsom said. “Even if she gets out of jail she needs to at least respect the church.” Reed began working at the church, located on South Second Street, in 2009 and began overwriting checks to herself in 2011, according to the report. In 2013, she also began making ATM withdrawals and making personal purchases from the church account, the report states. “The amounts just escalated,” Lt. Phillip Gibson with the Union City Police Dept. said. “It actually whent down in one year a little bit that doesn’t mean she was getting ancy or anything. It meant she knew what was going on, what bills had to be paid and what the excess money is.” Another $1,296 in purchases also were revealed in the audit and are believed to also have been made by Reed, according to the report. Reed was arrested Oct. 1, and police say she admitted to the embezzlement. She was transported to the Obion County Jail. The Union City Police Department said they’ll be conducting an independent audit of the church’s books to see if any other charges are warranted. Reed is currently free on on $5,000 bond, she’s expected to appear in court on Thursday.

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