What is church embezzlement?

While there are many types of fraud, churches most often experience embezzlement, defined as the fraudulent appropriation of money or property for one’s own use. No organization — including a church — is automatically exempt from this fraudulent behavior.

Should a pastor have a church credit card?

When it comes to the credit card purposes for a church, there actually is not as large of a difference between a business and personal card. For example, we would recommend having a personal credit card in the name of the pastor/financial advisor if you are a small congregation with minimal weekly expenses.

Do pastors get paid by the church?

Most churches pay a pastor salary that is established by contract. The amount of salary varies based on the size of the church and the congregation. To assist with housing, most churches provide a home that is paid for by the church or a specified monthly allowance to be spent on housing expenses.

Does the church steal money?

Church fraud characteristically takes place over a long period of time—seven years on average—and involves small sums stolen intermittently. To make matters worse, many churches lack the internal financial controls necessary to expose—and prevent—fraud.

How do churches launder money?

Simply put, money laundering is the process of making dirty money look clean. Some pastors or church leaders can easily add their illegally acquired money to the donations and other offerings from church members and deposit the money in their bank accounts.

Should churches have credit cards?

A corporate credit card can seem like a useful tool for churches: a convenient and easy way for staff to make the purchases they need to do their jobs. Yet at many churches, the corporate credit card results in headaches and hassles. It can result in inappropriate expenses and even finance charges.

Can a church be used to launder money?

“Over the years, religious institutions have been repeatedly used … to launder money,” said Mark Califano, a former assistant U.S. attorney and chief legal officer at Nardello & Co, a global investigative firm. “And their special and protected place in most countries and societies has allowed that to happen.”