A former church bookkeeper is accused of making more than $33,000 in unapproved transactions over a three-year period, according to a criminal complaint.
Theresa Marie Nash had her first appearance in Goodhue County District Court on April 10 facing charges of theft and financial transaction card fraud.
Nash was a bookkeeper for three years at First Lutheran Church in Red Wing.
According to a criminal complaint:
The Red Wing resident raised suspicions from church officials last April when a check Nash had issued to herself for $2,500 in church funds was deposited.
Pastor Arthur Sharot and Treasurer Roy Harley soon contacted the police, saying they believed the money taken from the church over time was around $24,000.
Sharot approached Nash about the check in question. She told Sharot that she would "pay it back." Nash's position was suspended and she no longer had access to church accounts.
During a subsequent investigation, bank employees told police that it was Nash who deposited the check. When officers contacted Nash, she told them she was not advised to speak with them.
A financial audit between 2016-2018 allegedly found that Nash had $33,063.85 worth of unapproved transactions.
In court on Wednesday, Nash was denied a public defender and had no legal counsel present. No bail was set, and she was not taken into custody. Nash told the court she will have to hire an attorney to represent her.
An omnibus hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 12.