Lights & Sirens

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Tacoma church treasurer charged with embezzlement

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on March 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
March 7, 2013 4:20 pm

Pierce County prosecutors today charged a 55-year-old woman with stealing more than $30,000 from her Tacoma church.

Not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of Janet Maureen Sego in Superior Court to four counts of first-degree theft. She was released on her personal recognizance following arraignment.

Prosecutors contend in charging papers Sego used her position as volunteer church treasurer to write checks to herself and make withdrawals from the accounts of Bethany United Methodist Church. Church officials got suspicious in July 2011 when a check drawn on the church’s account bounced. That suspicion was heightened in May 2012 when the church’s bank notified officials their main account was overdrawn, court records show.

Sego, who works as a financial assistant for the City of Tacoma, then was removed as treasurer. A new accountant launched an investigation that found Sego allegedly misappropriated more than $35,000 from the church between 2008 and 2012, court records show.

In January, Sego allegedly sent the church’s pastor an email from her work account that read, “I’m wondering if you’ve gotten anything back on my mistake? I am in the process of getting $5,000 to turn into the church as soon as possible.”

She was arrested at her home Wednesday, records show.

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