Woman sen­tenced for theft from church

Dorchester Star - - Regional -

CAM­BRIDGE — A Cam­bridge woman ac­cused of steal­ing from Buck­town United Methodist Church near Cam­bridge re­ceived an 18-month ac­tive jail term with 13 1/2 months sus­pended from Dorch­ester County District Court Judge Melvin Jews Tues­day, April 19.

Ash­ley Rene El­lis, 32, was charged with op­er­at­ing a theft scheme over $10,000 but un­der $100,000, iden­tity theft, forgery of pri­vate doc­u­ments, ob­tain­ing money by forgery and is­su­ing false doc­u­ments.

El­lis pleaded guilty to theft scheme be­tween $10,000 and $100,000, which en­com­passes a se­ries of unau­tho­rized pay­ments to her­self from church funds when El­lis ac­cessed the church funds from a check­ing ac­count con­trolled by a fam­ily mem­ber who served as church trea­surer, ac­cord­ing to the Dorch­ester County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

State’s At­tor­ney Wil­liam Jones said El­lis’ 18-month in­car­cer­a­tion will be­gin im­me­di­ately in the Divi­sion of Cor­rec­tions. He said once she is re­leased, she will be on su­per­vised pro­ba­tion for five years with the spe­cial con­di­tion that she pay resti­tu­tion to the church in the amount of $19,632.77 within three years.

Jones said he com­mends the work of the crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Dorch­ester County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, which led to the suc­cess­ful res­o­lu­tion of the case.

Ac­cord­ing to the Dorch­ester County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed El­lis stole and forged checks from Buck­town United Methodist Church be­gin­ning in Septem­ber 2015 and end­ing in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Charg­ing doc­u­ments said 39 checks were forged for amounts rang­ing from $85 to $2,300, to­tal­ing $19,632.76, over two busi­ness ac­counts and two sav­ings ac­counts. Most of the checks were made out to El­lis, po­lice said.

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