Texas Woman Steals $660K From Her Church To Fund Hawaii Vacation
By Dani Medina
February 17, 2022
Lavelle Wilson plead guilty to theft and misapplication of fiduciary property and will be held at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Wilson was in charge of two bank accounts at New Creation Christian Fellowship in Windcrest, Texas, near San Antonio, where she worked for 30 years. Officials said Wilson had been stealing money from the church since 2014 after the church's executive committee began reviewing financial reports in 2019.
Wilson admitted to stealing $667,542. Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said she used the money to pay for "a trip to Hawaii, shopping sprees at local malls, dining at upscale restaurants, fast food, personal loan payments and personal cell phone payments."
Gonzales told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "New Creation Christian Fellowship trusted (Wilson) to help them do some good for our community. Her violation of that trust hurt this community. Now that she has accepted responsibility for her crime, I know the church and its members can focus on their faith and service to our community."
The New Creation Christian Fellowship shared a statement on its website Wednesday:
"As Christian ministries, we stand by our principles of honesty, integrity, and compliance with the law. We take our responsibility to prudently manage resources seriously. This situation has not impacted the safety or soundness of New Creation Christian Fellowship's financial status. ... The church deals with sin, immorality and redemption. The law deals with crime. There are some matters that are out of the control of the church. Unfortunately, this is one. As challenging and grievous as this has been for everyone involved, we have been encouraged by the continuing faithfulness of God and the members and partners of this ministry. We do not relish this and we find no joy in it. We encourage everyone to be prayerful and sensitive to all concerned."
Read the church's full statement here.