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Police: Woman steals over 80-thousand dollars from church

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 12 2013 09:07:39 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 13 2013 02:30:00 AM CST

A church is left with just 36 dollars in its coffers after a woman took tens of thousands of dollars from her own church.

HATFIELD, Pa. -

A church is left with just 36 dollars in its coffers after a woman took tens of thousands of dollars from her own church.

Police say a Sphanie Kligge, who served as the church's treasurer, over the course of about a year, took more than 81-thousand dollars from the church's coffers.

Reverend Glenn Lambert, the church minister said, "It's hard to fathom. It's essentially everything we had and more."

The holiday season, which is supposed to be a time of giving and thinking of others, has a bit of a shadow over it at Emmanuel Evangelical Congregational Church in Hatfield.

The Assistant DA said, "it's very serious, she's charged with theft, receiving stolen property, misapplication of entrusted property, they're felonies that in some cases do carry serious jail time.

The Lambert, went further saying, "It's a tremendous break of trust, and I think that is the greater loss for the congregation." Investigators say Kligge stole the money while she was treasurer of the board from July 2012 through June of this year.

They say she provided false monthly reports that showed a balance of more than 100-thousand dollars....when there was really only 36 dollars and 11 cents left in the account.

The minister lamented, "Our greatest asset is one another and to feel that one of us turned against all the others is, it's just hard to put into words."

Reverend Lambert said hindsight is 20-20. He said, Kligge showed up in a better-looking minivan and explained she bought it so she could help others.

The minister said their congregation is resilient but he wasn't sure how he will get by. He might need to get another job, he said. According to the minster, they have not seen any remorse, neither have they received any apologies.

Reverend Lambert saaid the church is thankful for donations that have been coming in, and 15-thousand dollars from an insurance policy.

As for Kligge, she has a preliminary hearing set for Christmas Eve day.