A Cobb County woman is accused of stealing more than $93,000 from the church where she worked and using the money to pay her personal bills and dine at restaurants, according to police.
Gwendolyn Hawthorne, 61, of Marietta, allegedly took $93,744.25 from Crown of Life Community Baptist Church in Powder Springs, an arrest warrant obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution states. Hawthorne is accused of making 937 fraudulent transactions between March 2007 and February of this year, the warrant states.
“Said accused, in her capacity as the Chief Financial Officer, did conceal the theft from the church leadership committee by falsifying the monthly budget reports, which allowed her fraudulent activity to remain undiscovered until 03/17/2014,” the warrant states.
Hawthorne allegedly used $87,857.25 of the church’s money for her personal benefit, in addition to incurring bank fees and overdraft fees totaling $5,891.50, according to the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office. She allegedly used the church’s bank cards for her bills, gas and other items, according to investigators.
“Said accused used the same J.P. Morgan Chase FTC to purchase merchandise and fuel twenty eight times, totaling $1,113.78,” the warrant states. “Further, said accused did use the Bank of America debit cards assigned to her to complete 207 withdrawals from bank ATMs totaling $34,486.35, 397 withdrawals from various Casino ATMs totaling $21,690.70 (including ATM fees), 128 transactions totaling $16,243.66 to pay personal bills to companies such as AllState, DirectTV, Clear, T-Mobile, and SCANA Energy, 101 transactions at various restaurants totaling $878.70, 158 transactions at various fuel merchants totaling $4,203.29, and 159 transactions at various merchants and pharmacies for merchandise and services totaling $5,033.57.”
An arrest warrant was secured Friday for Hawthorne’s arrest. But she had not been arrested as of late Tuesday, according to jail booking records.
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com