Alabama woman gets 5 years in prison for stealing $200K from church

Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

An Alabama woman has been sentenced to five years in prison for wire fraud after she was convicted of embezzling more than $200,000 from the church where she worked for 12 years.

U.S. District Judge Terry F. Moorer also sentenced Sharon Collins, 53, of Foley, to three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay more than $211,000 in restitution, reported.

Collins worked as financial secretary for the First Baptist Church in Foley between May 2007 and July 2019. She was responsible for managing the church’s accounting system, preparing financial reports and managing church-issued credit cards.

According to prosecutors, Collins used church funds to make hundreds of electronic transactions using unauthorized church-issued credit cards to cover the costs of trips to New Orleans and Las Vegas, a cruise, jewelry and funding a bachelor’s degree.

Prosecutors said Collins later admitted making several false statements, including lying about having the church’s approval to make the purchases.