The former chairman of the board for the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, Los Angeles, has been indicted in the theft of more than $11 million in church money.
According to a federal grand jury indictment released Monday, Charles T. Sebesta, 54, used the money on personal expenses including the purchase of a house and a membership to Club 33 — an exclusive Disneyland dining club. He was charged with six counts of wire fraud, five counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to the Department of Justice, Sebesta stole a total of $11,438,213 from church assets and $34,032 from a private high school that also employed him.
In 2014, Sebesta and his assistant at the time were charged with grand theft in connection with the theft of funds from the Catholic missionary group Lay Mission-Helpers Assn. According to a lawsuit, the pair had set up a bank account in the name of Sebesta’s son, and created fake email accounts and invoices to divert about $177,900.
If convicted on all charges, Sebesta faced a statutory maximum sentence of more than 250 years in federal prison.
Full story at The LA Times.