By Stephen Gallien, WBMA
A federal judge sentenced a former church bookkeeper who embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars to 60 months probation.
Tuesday’s sentencing comes after Angela Cheatwood pleaded guilty in 2019 to taking money from Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church and Sacred Heart School in Anniston. Cheatwood was the bookkeeper for the church and the school.
Federal prosecutors say she wrote around $484,000 worth of unauthorized checks to her personal bank account from the church bank account while also taking cash which had been collected from fundraisers and donations for the school.
Cheatwood was ordered to pay restitution as part of her sentence. Fifty-thousand is to go to Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, $23,250 is to be paid to Lloyds of London and $525,252 will go to the Federal Insurance Company.
Cheatwood must also meet several conditions as part of her probation, including monitoring for 24 months, avoiding alcohol and getting counseling.
“Ms. Cheatwood’s betrayal as a bookkeeper for her own personal gain not only caused a significant loss to her church and it’s school, but to the Anniston community that it serves,” said U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick Davis in a news release following her arrest.