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Woman charged with embezzling church funds

SoVaNow.com / June 10, 2019
A Halifax woman who was entrusted with church finances has been charged with six counts of embezzlement under indictments handed down Thursday by a Halifax County grand jury.

Michelle Anderson Epps is accused of embezzling funds from Winn’s Creek Baptist Church in her capacity as the church’s finance secretary. A Virginia State Police investigation uncovered evidence of six instances of embezzlement spanning a period from October 2017 to July 2018.

Of the six charges against Epps, two are felony offenses — alleging she stole amounts above $200, Virginia’s statutory threshold for felony theft until the law was changed in 2018. The new threshold for felony theft is $500 or more.

Four of the embezzlement charges, all misdemeanors, allege that Epps embezzled less than $200 on four separate occasions.

She also has been charged with a seventh charge, a misdemeanor offense of obstructing justice.

Virginia State Trooper D.W. Lacks, who conducted the investigation, was unavailable for comment on the matter.

Epps was arrested Thursday and taken to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Halifax, where she was later released. She is due back in court this week for a hearing to appoint legal counsel.



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