ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KSDK) - A 53-year-old St. Peters woman was sentenced Thursday for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds to a St. Charles County church charity, US Attorney Richard Callahan said.
According to court documents, Nancy O'Donnell served as treasurer for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a non-profit organization tied to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cottleville. The charity provides personal financial assistance with furniture, food, clothing, rent, utilities and other necessities to people facing economic and other crises.
The charity receives its funds primarily through donations by St. Joseph parishioners.
As treasurer of the charity, O'Donnell was placed in charge of financial record keeping and depositing funds to the group's bank account and keeping documented paperwork on all monetary movement.
On April 27, 2006, prosecutors said Nancy O'Donnell opened a sham checking account in the name of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, using her own home address as the business address on the account. O'Donnell would take donations given to her by parishioners and deposit them into either the sham account or her personal account. She then wrote checks on both the sham and personal accounts, either to herself or made to "cash," and would then use those funds for personal expenses.
Nancy O'Donnell was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay $209,000 in restitution. Approximately $192,000 has already been repaid.