Flint man, 79, sentenced for embezzling nearly $37K from church - WNEM TV 5

Flint man, 79, sentenced for embezzling nearly $37K from church

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A 79-year-old Flint man has been sentenced after stealing more than $38,000 from a church charity fund.

David Lee Thiese Sr. was sentenced to 60 months of probation and $698 in fines and court costs for embezzling nearly $37,000 in charitable gaming funds from St. Pius X Catholic Church and School in Flint. He previously agreed to pay back $36,862 he admitted to keeping.  

Thiese was charged last year with a felony count of embezzlement of $20,000 to $50,000. He pled guilty to the charge in February.

Investigators said Thiese deposited money from church’s charity game into an account he controlled. Investigators believe the charities earned nearly $60,000 combined net profit. However,

Theise allegedly shared with the charities only $22,900 in earnings from the events.

“It’s so important for charities to maintain proper oversight and accounting practices to prevent financial crime,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director.  “It’s unfortunate when MGCB investigators review event results and discover fraud, but we are here to help charities when a crime happens.”

Thiese was the event chairperson for 28 charitable poker events held in the Flint area between 2012 and 2014.

Investigators said he kept the money for personal use.

The charges followed a Michigan Gaming Control Board investigation of events held at the former Gloria’s Poker Palace, Lucky’s Poker Room and Pocket Aces. 

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