Officials: Church staffer paid for wedding with stolen funds

FLORENCE, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a church's financial manager stole more than $500,000 to pay for her wedding and many other personal expenses. Taisha Smith-DeJoseph faces numerous charges including theft and failure to file personal income tax returns. The charges stem from an investigation that began when officials with St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Florence reported their suspicions to authorities. The subsequent investigation determined that from 2014 to March 2019, Smith-DeJoseph opened bank accounts on behalf of the church and used that money for personal purposes. The 43-year-old Willingboro woman also allegedly wrote checks to herself from the church and fabricated the church’s monthly financial statements.

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