Sheriff: Sarasota couple stole nearly $40,000 from church

Posted at 1:49 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 13:49:52-05

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A married Sarasota couple have been charged with felony Scheme to Defraud, after being accused of stealing nearly $40,000 from a church.

According to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, 25-year-old Amanda Towner was working for the Faith Baptist Church in Sarasota as a bookkeeper, while her husband, 28-year-old Nolan Towner, volunteered with technical support.

A review of the church's credit card statements last year revealed numerous unauthorized charges to its account.  Investigators determined that Nolan Towner used the credit card to make purchases on Amazon, and also withdrew money on the account and deposited it in a personal account.

Amanda knew of the fraudulent activity, but did not report it to the church.

Over a two-year period, the total financial loss totaled $39,471.99.

The couple were arrested Tuesday morning, and will be released on bond.