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Charges: Man stole over $33K from Mendota Heights church

Charges: Man stole over $33K from Mendota Heights church Photo: MGN

Updated: August 15, 2019 02:23 PM

A New Brighton man has been charged for allegedly stealing more than $30,000 from a Mendota Heights church.

The Dakota County Attorney's Office said Christopher Paul Seiple, 48, is charged with four counts of theft by swindle in connection to the theft of $33,000 from the Mendota Heights Catholic church from November 2018 through May 2019. Seiple was the church's director of operations.

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A criminal complaint states that law enforcement responded to a reported theft from the church on July 3. A person conducting an audit of the church's financial records discovered several suspicious transactions involving Seiple, a former employee of the church.

The complaint states several checks were issued to vendors by Seiple on behalf of the church were for invoices that were already paid. The checks were then deposited on a mobile device into Seiple's personal account.

According to the complaint, Seiple admitted to law enforcement that he had deposited the checks into his account, and that they were unauthorized and fradulent. Investigators said he told them he was behind on his mortgage and had been purchasing up to $400 worth of scratch-off tickets each day.

His first court appearance is set for Oct. 7.

Each count can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison, between $6,000 and $20,000 in fines or both.

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