Former church official pleads not guilty to bilking charges
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.