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Press Release

Raytown Man Indicted for Stealing $86,000 from Two Churches

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Raytown, Mo., man who worked or volunteered at two area churches was indicted by a federal grand jury today for embezzling more than $86,000 from those parishes.


David Townley, 59, of Raytown, was charged in a 14-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Townley’s arrest and initial court appearance.


Nativity of Mary


The federal indictment alleges that Townley engaged in a scheme to defraud Nativity of Mary church and school in Independence, Mo., from 2007 through 2013.


Townley was employed by the Nativity of Mary church and school as the business manager from December 2006 through June 2013. Townley handled the payroll and had access to both cash and check collections/donations, and school tuition payments. From 2011 through 2013, Townley allegedly skimmed money from cash tuition payments made by parents. Townley allegedly wrote unauthorized checks, including payroll checks, to himself from the account at Nativity of Mary.


Townley is charged with three counts of wire fraud related to this embezzlement scheme.


Sacred Heart of Guadalupe


The federal indictment alleges that Townley stole $47,705 from Sacred Heart of Guadalupe church in Kansas City, Mo., in a fraud scheme that lasted from 2006 through 2013.


Townley was a volunteer at Sacred Heart of Guadalupe from 2002 through 2013. Townley was in charge of paying the church’s bills, making quick book entries, reporting to the financial committee and filing the church’s tax returns. From 2006 through 2013, Townley allegedly negotiated unauthorized checks payable to himself and checks payable to other entities. These checks, totaling approximately $47,705, were deposited into Townley’s personal bank account.


Townley is charged with three counts of mail fraud related to this embezzlement scheme.


Tax Evasion


The indictment charges Townley with eight counts of tax evasion. According to the indictment, Townley evaded paying federal income taxes from 2006 through 2013.


During those years, according to the indictment, Townley had taxable income that ranged from $54,633 to $115,721. Townley allegedly attempted to conceal his true sources of income at Nativity of Mary and Sacred Heart of Guadalupe.


The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Townley to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged violations, including $86,297.


Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Updated June 29, 2016

Financial Fraud