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Former Winston-Salem church director of finance accused of embezzling over $27,000

A former church director of finance at a Catholic church in Winston-Salem is accused of embezzling over $27,000 for “tuition reimbursement.”
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A former director of finance for a catholic church in Winston-Salem is accused of embezzling over $27,000 worth of funds.

Marilyn Bertelsen, former director of finance at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church on Springdale Avenue in Winston-Salem is accused of embezzling $27,930.03 for “tuition reimbursement” for classes at Johnson & Wales University.

According to Forsyth County court officials, Winston-Salem police received a report of embezzlement at the church back on January 26 last year.

Officials said a routine internal audit showed Bertelsen may have been involved in potential fraud.

Court officials said several checks and payments were made to her for “tuition reimbursement”.

The checks were provided for classes at Johnson & Wales University, although Bertelsen never went to the school, according to the Forsyth County District Court.

A detective with the Winston-Salem Police Department also testified that bank records showed no payments were made to Johnson & Wales University by Bertelsen.

Bertelsen pled to three charges of obtaining property by false pretense Friday.

She was sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised probation.

Court officials said Bertelsen has to serve 24 hours of community service, pay court costs, pay full restitution of $27,930.03 to St. Leo the Great Catholic Church at the start of her plea, and has a review date set for January 6 next year.

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