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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Calhoun County Woman Charged with Embezzlement from Former Employer

BIRMINGHAM – Federal prosecutors today charged a Calhoun County resident with a wire fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick Davis.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a one-count information in U.S. District Court, charging ANGELA CHEATWOOD, 41, with a wire fraud scheme. 

According to the information, Cheatwood embezzled over $484,000 from Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church and Sacred Heart School in Anniston, Alabama.  Cheatwood was the bookkeeper for the church and the school.  During her time as bookkeeper, Cheatwood wrote unauthorized checks to her personal bank account from the church bank account.  Additionally, Cheatwood took cash which had been collected from fundraisers and donations for the school and deposited those funds into her personal bank account instead of the school’s bank account. 

“Cheatwood substituted her own personal priorities ahead of the needs of parishioners, teachers, and the students, and betrayed their trust,” Town said. “Sadly, churches and schools are not immune from fraud, but hopefully prosecutions such as this will discourage others who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of their community.”

“Ms. Cheatwood’s betrayal as a bookkeeper for her own personal gain not only caused a significant loss to her church and it’s school, but to the Anniston, AL community that it serves,” Davis said.  “The U.S. Secret Service will always seek prosecution of those that would exploit their position of trust for their own enrichment.” 

The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  

United States Secret Service investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Lloyd Peeples is prosecuting.

An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated September 24, 2019