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Church office manager charged with $177K theft

 IBJ Staff
December 10, 2013
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An officer manager for an Indianapolis church faces charges of theft and forgery, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday, after more than $177,000 was stolen from the church’s bank accounts.

Prosecutor Terry Curry filed the charges against Stephanie Hicks-Karst, who worked for Pleasant View Lutheran Church from 2000 to March 2013. The thefts occurred between Jan. 1, 2011, and May 31, 2013.

Hicks-Karst was arrested Tuesday and faces an initial court hearing later this week.

According to the charges, the accused made about $48,000 in unauthorized purchases on the church’s business credit card and then paid the credit card balances using the business checking account.

The prosecutor’s office said Hicks-Karst forged a church treasurer’s signature when using the checking account.

The credit card purchases were made for personal purchases at several gas stations and a  variety of traditional and online retailers, including Target, Dress Barn, Pier 1, Petco, Bath & Body Works, Papa John’s, Hip Girl Boutique, Taylor’s Pub, WeightWatchers.com, Amazon.com and Trader Joe’s.

Hicks-Karst allegedly made another $129,000 in unauthorized cash transfers from the church’s business account into her personal accounts.

All three charges are Class C felonies that carry penalties from two to eight years in prison.








 

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  • Church Theft
    Hip Girl, Weight Waters & Pizza? Confused women who must be looking for someone special but realizes it won't help her. Pathetic. Wonder what her lame excuse is?

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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