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Press Release

Former Employee Of The Scottsville Baptist Church Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison For Embezzling Church Funds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

Ordered to pay $274, 846 in restitution

Paid personal expenses with the funds

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr. today announced the sentencing of an Allen County, Kentucky, woman to18 months in prison for committing three counts of wire fraud, and was ordered to pay $274,846 restitution to her former employer, the Scottsville (Kentucky) Baptist Church.

“The 18 month prison term imposed by Judge Stivers, reflects the seriousness of these offenses and the callous nature of the crime,” stated U.S. Attorney John Kuhn. “While the less fortunate turn to the church for life’s necessities, Patricia Barlow stole from the church to satisfy her greed.”

Barlow, age 49, was a secretary at the Scottsville Baptist Church (SBC), located at 301 East Main Street, in Scottsville, Kentucky, and on numerous occasions made unauthorized wire transfers to pay for personal expenses using SBC funds. The scheme to defraud SBC began in January of 2011, and lasted until SBC discovered the fraud in the spring of 2015. Three of the alleged wire transfers were made on January 1, 2007, in the amount of $512.29; January 14, 2011, in the amount of  $1,400; and a wire transfer of $425.00 on January 28, 2015.

Barlow’s criminal conduct was not a one-time lapse in judgment. Barlow’s six-figure scheme involved scores of fraudulent checks, bogus credit card charges, thefts of cash donations, and false accounting entries submitted time and again over the course of four years. Moreover, Barlow did not steal from the church to pay for a family emergency, or because of an addiction to drugs or gambling. Rather, Barlow stole over $274,000 from the SBC for luxuries she and her family otherwise could not legitimately afford, such as vacations, jewelry, clothes, and trips to beauty salons.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser and was investigated by the United States Secret Service and Scottsville (Kentucky) Police Department.

Updated March 30, 2016

Financial Fraud