Previous finance supervisor bilks $1.3 million from Fellowship Christian Church

The theft happened from December 2008 by April 2019, the indictment stated.

GRAPEVINE, Texas — A former finance manager at 1 of the greatest church buildings in Texas – Fellowship Christian Church in Grapevine – pleaded responsible to theft, diverting extra than $1.3 million to herself, in accordance to court and police records.

Lara Lynn Ford, 51, was sentenced to 10 decades in jail, according to Tarrant County court documents. Nonetheless, she may use for shock probation, which could suspend her jail sentence for theft, courtroom documents indicated. 

An audit of the church’s banking accounts located Ford bilked $1,377,000, according to a Grapevine Police offense report.

The theft happened from December 2008 by means of April 2019, her indictment said.

When requested by law enforcement why she committed the theft, she responded: “Umm, silly,” the police report said.

She also advised law enforcement she had a investing trouble, the report explained, and would “buy issues she doesn’t want and would assist people today.”

Ford informed police she began thieving from Fellowship Christian by taking revenue from the giving, then graduated to building fraudulent bank transfers to 3 individual examining accounts, the report reported.

The church has gained $750,000 in insurance plan claims owing to the theft, in accordance to the Tarrant County DA.

The investigation into the theft was triggered when Fellowship Christian CFO Dennis Brewer learned “discrepancies with some transactions” in April 2019, in accordance to the police report.

Ford tapped into a housing allowance account employed by the church to complement employee foundation pay out. Documents present Ford improved her spend an additional $200 each individual two weeks from the housing allowance account. Then, in January 2019, Ford improved her pay an more $500 every single two months out of the housing allowance, the police report explained.

Brewer informed police he to start with started questioning “shortages” in church accounts and demoted Ford as finance supervisor in 2018, but she continue to remained in the accounting section with entry to the housing allowance account, the police report said.

Ford started doing the job at Fellowship Church in 2005, and had no prior prison record.

The theft also comes even though Fellowship Christian Church has gained two govt PPP loans of $1.5 million in April 2020, and another $1.5 million March 2021.

WFAA has attained out to Fellowship Church and the law firm of Ford for remark.