February 23, 2024

Former Upstate church admin facing federal charges for stolen funds

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – The former church administrator for First Baptist Spartanburg is now facing federal charges.

Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said David Dennis stole church funds for personal and family expenses.

Federal officials said between 2017 and 2022, David Dennis obtained multiple credit cards that belonged to First Baptist under the premise that he would use them to purchase items to be used for the church. Instead, Dennis used those cards for personal purchases.

According to the district attorney’s office, Dennis submitted certain expenses for reimbursement and disguised those expenses to appear related to items purchased for the church and received payment. One example listed in the criminal complaint is a purchase of barbecue totaling $1,231.23. The complaint alleges Dennis disguised the barbecue purchase as a church expense when it was actually a personal expense.

In total, officials said Dennis was able to defraud $213,278 from First Baptist.

Dennis now faces charges for wire fraud.

Court records show Dennis intends to plead guilty. The plea agreement includes a requirement that Dennis repay the funds he is accused of stealing.

The maximum penalty for this offense is a fine of $250,0000 and or imprisonment for 20 years, supervised released of three years and special assessment of $100.

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