AP audit uncovers church credit union embezzlement

The former manager of a Henrico County, Virginia-based credit union was recently charged with two counts of embezzlement after an accounts payable audit found she had stolen more than $40,000 from the organization.

The St. Paul's Baptist Federal Credit Union had 684 members prior to merging with the Henrico Federal Credit Union last month, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Most of the members also belonged to the local St. Paul's Baptist Church, which manager Debra Morris attended.

"She's always greeting everyone and constantly interacting with the members," congregation member Joe Wortham told WTVR-TV. "(The charge is) really a big shock."

An AP audit conducted by church leaders identified the alleged fund misappropriation, which occurred between June 2008 and April of last year. The method of embezzlement is yet to be determined, according to the Times-Dispatch.

Carrying out internal AP audits can be a good way of identifying irregularities caused by embezzlement or accounting errors made in good faith. Conducting these on a regular basis can limit the scope of the misappropriation.

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