PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A former employee has been arrested and charged with stealing from a church in Pender County.
According to the Pender County Sheriff's Office, Gloria Douglas Hardee was charged with embezzlement of over $100,000. Hardee was the former secretary/treasurer for Riley's Creek Baptist Church.
Sheriff's deputies say someone had noticed problems with the church's finances last summer and an audit was conducted that verified the discrepancies.
Another complete audit was initiated with assistance of the Wilmington Baptist Association, according to the sheriff's office.
Evidence found in those audits led to the arrest of Hardee in connection to the embezzlement charge.
Riley's Creek Baptist Church released the following statement:
In July of 2013, the administrative committee of Riley's Creek Baptist Church was notified of possible discrepancies in the financial statements of the church. A short audit was initiated to determine if in fact there were any misuses of church funds. Upon verification that some discrepancies and apparent misuses were present one person was released from employment and with the assistance of the Baptist Association of Wilmington a complete audit was initiated. This audit was completed in November of 2013 and after meeting with Ben David, the findings were turned over to the Pender County Sheriff's Office for investigation. The pastoral staff and congregation of Riley's Creek Baptist Church continue to pray for all involved in this incident. However, since this is an ongoing investigation any additional information must be obtained from the Pender County Sheriff's Office.
Hardee is expected in court March 12, 2014.