Woman accused of bilking $200,000 from Muncie church

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MUNCIE – A Yorktown woman is accused of bilking nearly $200,000 from a Muncie church, using that money to pay for vacations and make other personal purchases.

Angela Renee Linder, 42, worked as an accounting administrator for Union Chapel United Methodist church from 2001 to 2010, overseeing the payroll and its credit card accounts.

Federal prosecutors said Linder abused that access to embezzle some $200,000, using the money to pay for vacations in Chicago and Gatlinburg, Tenn. They also said she bought clothes, paid for meals, and financed home repairs on the church’s dime. Other purchases, according to prosecutors, included gasoline, cosmetics, rental cars and medical expenses.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said Linder used credit cards and wrote fraudulent checks with church accounts to get the money.

In addition, prosecutors said Linder listed herself as a worker at a community center associated with the church to pay herself extra wages. They also accuse her of taking money to set up a fund that she claimed would help kids whose families were affected by fires.

Linder has negotiated a plea agreement in which she agreed to plead guilty to a charge of wire fraud.

In the proposed plea deal, Linder said she had voluntarily accepted the agreement. The court said she also recognized and claimed responsibility for her actions.

She’s set to plead guilty on May 23.

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