A 59-year-old woman was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after stealing $89,440 from Brooklyn Congregational Methodist Church in Coffee County.

Carmen Ramer Davis of Opp used some of the stolen funds for trips to casinos.

Prosecutors believe Davis, who worked as a secretary for the church since 2006, obtained a debit card for the church account without the knowledge of church leaders and used it for herself, and she wrote checks to herself or cash without church leadership approval.

The fraud was discovered in August 2019 after a $75 check bounced.

The church has since closed because of financial hardship.

"The crimes committed by Ms. Davis victimized an entire faith community," Middle District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Sandra Stewart said. "The harm will continue to be felt for quite some time."

The judge in the case ruled that Davis would have to pay back the money and serve one year of supervised release after she was released from prison.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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