Woman sentenced in embezzlement case

A Centreville woman accused of embezzling from two local churches was sentenced last week.

Carol Kotschevar, 60, was ordered Friday to serve three months in the St. Joseph County jail after she entered a no-contest plea Oct. 28 to embezzling money from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Centreville over a four-year period starting in 2015. Similar charges from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Colon were dropped in a plea agreement.

Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman’s courtroom was filled with church parishioners, many calling for her to be sent to prison.

Stutesman ordered more than $37,000 be repaid to the Centreville church and nearly $16,000 to St. Paul’s in Colon.

An audit found she was charging groceries, including liquor, on the church card. The embezzlement was discovered when Colon church officials found its bank account was used to pay the Centreville credit card in early 2020.

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