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Tag: Pikes Peak Christian Church

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Finance Director Sarah Ann Mock-Butler Accused of Committing Hundreds of Financial Crimes

Sarah Ann Mock-Butler

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

On June 1, 2023, Sarah Ann Mock-Butler, the finance director for Pikes Peak Christian Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was arrested and charged with hundreds of financial crimes.

KOAA-5 reports:

New details in the arrest of a former financial director of a local church have been released.

Sara Ann Mock-Butler, a former financial director of Pikes Peak Christian Church, is accused of allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church.

The arrest affidavit alleges that during Mock-Butler’s unchecked or supervised time as financial director from 2017 to 2022, she stole thousands and attempted to delete evidence of this theft shortly before finding work elsewhere.

The investigation was raised after lead Pastor Ross had asked Mock-Butler to resign and the new financial director found discrepancies between bank account numbers and financial dashboards from the church records.

According to the affidavit, the discrepancies amounted to a $200,000 deficit in their operating account forcing the church to lay off employees and cut specific ministries.

The internal investigation by church officials revealed unexplained transfers from the church’s operating account to the church’s credit union credit card account not related to church business. Pastor Ross said Mock-Butler falsified the approval form documents often double-signing them herself, against church policy.

It was determined by Detective Williams that Mock-Butler forged three signatures of church leaders to use on authorization forms.

The church provided lead El Paso County Detective, Marissa Williams with an itemized spreadsheet of unauthorized charges made by Mock-Butler. Detective Williams has determined that Sara Mock-Butler spent a total of $341,519.25 of Pikes Peak Christian Church’s funds on unauthorized and personal charges.

The affidavit alleges Mock-Butler conducted a total of 527 charges using the church’s financial information. Of these, 339 transactions were electronic, with 296 of these missing authorization forms or had them intentionally omitted.

The affidavit goes on to give six examples from the investigation of Mock-Butler’s alleged theft, the first being the writing of two checks totaling more than $6,000 from the church to her personal and mother’s joint account to pay on her home mortgage.

A cash withdrawal totaling $16,000 that was allegedly spent on home improvements for Mock-Butler’s home.

The third example laid out by Detective Williams was the transfer of $15,000 to Mock-Butler’s credit union account which was used to make a down payment on a 2020 Ford F350 Truck and another $19,800 transfer that would be later used to purchase a boat which Mock-Butler would later sell for $22,500.

The affidavit alleges Mock-Butler spent $3,007.03 in funds on personal vacations, and another $1,878.88 in payments to Colorado Springs Utilities on Mock-Butler’s personal utility bills.

The final example of theft was through Mock-Butler’s personal purchases from Amazon, where the affidavit alleges Mock-Butler made 10 orders totaling $1,644.31.

An investigation with Colorado Department of Revenue Agent Melody Kirscht determined that Mock-Butler was liable for six counts of felony Tax Evasion after the unreported income from Mock-Butler was reviewed.

Mock-Butler faces the following charges:

  • Theft, class 4 felony (1 count)
  • Cybercrime, class 3 felony (1 count)
  • Money Laundering, class 3 felony (296 counts)
  • Identity Theft, class 4 felony (527 counts)
  • Forgery, class 5 felony (61 counts)
  • Tax Evasion, class 5 felony (6 counts)
  • Filing a False Return, class 5 felony (5 counts)

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser