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Volunteer Treasurer Receives Three Years in Prison for Stealing From Elmhurst Church

May 9th, 2012 at 11:51 am

DuPage County Judge Kathryn Creswell sentenced 54-year-old Robert Drefs to three years in prison for stealing $54,000 in funds from Messiah Lutheran Church, a small Elmhurst church, while serving as a volunteer treasurer. Drefs committed the thefts between 2008 and 2010, and forged signatures on various checks that he wrote to a now-defunct business at which he used to be employed. As a result of the thefts, the pastor and his family lost medical insurance coverage, other employees’ wages went unpaid, and other church bills fell behind. Meanwhile, Drefs continued to plead with congregation members for more money to pay the church’s operating expenses.

Drefs pled guilty to felony theft charges in a plea agreement deal that capped his potential sentence to three and one-half years. Judge Creswell gave Drefs near the maximum sentence, stating that she believed that Drefs had acted purposely to cover up his thefts.

Unfortunately, people in positions that handle money are often tempted to use the money for their own purposes, assuming that the losses will go unnoticed. Theft charges are often the result of these situations. A theft conviction can impact a person’s life for years, in that the potential penalties include a permanent criminal history, fines, restitution for the amount stolen, and jail time. As a result, it is essential to contact a qualified Skokie, Illinois criminal defense attorney for advice as soon as possible in order to prepare a defense to any criminal charges.

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Written by Staff Writer

May 9th, 2012 at 11:51 am

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