Church employee stole nearly $600K for gambling, Florida vacations, feds say

An Indiana woman has been sentenced to two years in federal prison after stealing nearly $600,000 from the church where she worked.

According to court documents from 2008 to 2021, Marie Carson illegally transferred approximately $573,836.59 from business accounts of a Catholic church and related school in Indianapolis to her own personal bank accounts.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday the actual monetary loss is likely much higher, as Carson, 72, admitted to church officials that she began the scheme in 2004.

“For more than thirteen years, this defendant abused her position of trust to embezzle money from parishioners intended for a church and school,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States attorney for the southern district of Indiana. “Her greed and desire for lavish vacations outweighed her interest in following the dictates of our criminal laws and the teachings of her church, ‘thou shalt not steal.’ The sentence imposed today sends a clear message to those who might seek to steal, defraud, and embezzle: we will find you, you will be prosecuted, and you will be held accountable.”