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Janet Farquhar

Son sells home to repay church money embezzled by mother

A 70-year-old woman who was jailed after she embezzled more than $95,000 from her church in the U.K. has repaid the amount after her son and daughter-in-law sold their own house to raise the money.

Janet Farquhar admitted in April to having transferred the cash belonging to Chalmers Memorial Church, in Port Seton, East Lothian, which is part of the Church of Scotland, into her own account over a period of eight years while she was the treasurer, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison but was released after she appealed, according to The Times.

The court this week accepted that Farquhar, who had spent the stolen money mostly on home improvements, has fully repaid the sum embezzled.

“We welcome the return of £72,000 of the funds that were taken from the congregation and will await with interest the result of justice running its course,” a spokesman of the Church of Scotland was quoted as saying.

Farquhar could not sell her own house due to an inhibition order placed on it, and once the order is lifted she will sell the house and give the money back to her son and daughter-in-law.

Earlier this month, a 63-year-old woman was found guilty of embezzling more than $818,000 from a Catholic church in Wisconsin in the U.S.

Deborah Marcellus, who served as the director of development of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Rice Lake, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Madison to wire fraud and filing a false income tax return. Marcellus generated more than 200 fraudulent checks from church bank accounts for $818,604 from 2011 until April 2017, according to an investigation done by the IRS and the Rice Lake Police Department.

In March, a Southern Baptist church treasurer in Hannibal was arrested and indicted by a federal grand jury after it was alleged that he stole between $300,000 and $750,000 from his congregation, which suffered the loss of its church building in a “suspicious” December 2016 fire.

Sixty-eight-year-old Donald White was arrested and charged with two counts wire fraud in connection to the theft of thousands of dollars from the Antioch Baptist Church in Hannibal.