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Former bookkeeper accused of stealing nearly $18,000 from Lake Worth church

WPBF West Palm Beach logo WPBF West Palm Beach 10/11/2017

Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies have arrested a former bookkeeper at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Lake Worth.

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Jill Ellis, 48, faces charges of grand theft.

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According to the probable cause affidavit, the church pastor noticed that certain bills were not being paid last year.

When the church staff began to investigate, the determined that Ellis, who has access to the church debit card, had made 45-unauthorized ATM withdrawals, totaling $17,740, the report said.

The report also said when confronted about the thefts, Ellis told the pastor and church treasurer that she was having financial problems and stole the money to make ends meet.

She said she had planned to pay it back once she received an annuity later that month.

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