Former church official pleads not guilty to bilking charges

Sunday July 29, 2012

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) -- A former church administrator in Northampton has pleaded not guilty to charges she bilked donors and other local service organizations of nearly $18,000.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that Giselle L. Dudley of Springfield faces 56 charges in Northampton District Court, including check forgery, unauthorized access to a computer system and larceny.

Northampton Police Detective Patrick D. Moody says the criminal investigation into Dudley's handling of donations to the First Churches began in December 2011 after a donor asked for a tax receipt for a contribution, though the deposit did not appear in church records.

Dudley defended the donation as intended to help her and her family recover from a house fire.

Police say other suspicious deposits also were found to have been deposited into accounts that Dudley controlled.


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