Thursday, August 15, 2013

Religious Congregation Sues Its Treasurer For Allegedly Draining $1.1M+ Of Equity In Church Property With Multiple Mortgages, Diverting Proceeds For Personal Use While Allowing Loan Collateral To Be Lost In Foreclosure Sale

In Las Vegas, Nevada, Courthouse News Service reports:
  • A Lutheran church sued its treasurer, claiming he embezzled $1.1 million - some of which he spent to buy land from a distant monastery.

    Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, of Las Vegas, sued Gregory R. Olson and Wells Fargo Bank, in Clark County Court. The church claims it hired Olson as its treasurer in May 2005, and he was embezzling before he'd been there a year.

    "From January 3, 2006 to September 18, 2009, defendant Olson without plaintiff Lutheran Church's approval, drew several checks from the account of plaintiff Lutheran Church in the amount of $1,123,279.84 for his own personal use," the complaint states.

    The church claims Olson took out five mortgages against church property without its permission and without notifying it.

    It claims that Olson was involved in a lawsuit about a property he had defaulted on, and he used some of the embezzled money to pay his legal expenses. He also bought a 2.5-acre parcel of land and told Amazing Grace he used his own money, according to the complaint.

    The church claims it lost title to its property through foreclosure, thanks to Olson's embezzlement.

    To top it off, Olson bought land from a monastery with the stolen money, according to the complaint.