The Brooklyn Congregational Methodist Church was forced to close its building in 2019 due to the theft of $90,000 by Carmen Ramer Davis, who served as the church's secretary. Davis was reportedly given a prison sentence after almost four years.
Fraudulent Activity of Carmen Ramer Davis
According to the testimony and documents of the court, Davis was appointed as the secretary at the Brooklyn Congregational Methodist Church in Coffee County in 2006, Al.com reported.
Davis, as the church secretary, was granted the authority to pay the church's bills and other expenses and access the church's bank accounts. In the end, she successfully obtained a debit card linked to the church's bank account without the church's knowledge.
The authorities stated that Davis started using the card to make illegal cash withdrawals at ATMs and purchase personal things at various businesses. Additionally, she used the church's bank account to fraudulently write cheques to herself or make them out to cash.
Moreover, the U.S. News reported that when a church leader checked the church account, they found insufficient money to cover a check for $75 that had been written from the church account. During the investigation, evidence indicated that Davis spent some of the ill-gotten gains on excursions to casinos in Mississippi and Alabama.
As a result, on Friday, Apr. 7, an announcement made by the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, Sandra Stewart, said that she pleaded guilty to eight counts of wire fraud. She was given a sentence of 18 months in prison. In addition, U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. ordered that Davis complete a year of post-release supervision after her time in jail. Furthermore, Huffaker concluded that Davis had defrauded the church out of a total of $89,440 between July 2008 and July 2019. The judge also gave her an order requiring her to make restitution to the church in the sum stated.
Also Read:Pantano Baptist Church's Former Member Accused of Stealing Over $100,000 Fund
Closing of Brooklyn Congregational Methodist Church
According to Casino.org, the sole casinos in Alabama are Class II casinos, which means they can only offer bingo-based gaming machines rather than slot machines and table games in the form of those found in Las Vegas. Despite this, Mississippi is one of the most prosperous states in the United States when it comes to commercial gambling. In 2017, the state's 26 casinos brought over $2.6 billion in gross gaming revenue.
The Department of Justice did not reveal the names of the casinos Davis visited with the illegally obtained money from the church. Even though she was ordered to pay restitution for the amount she was found to have stolen, which was $89,440.32, Davis claimed to the court that she no longer possessed the money because she gambled it away and used it to support her own needs.
Thus, 2019 marked the end of the Brooklyn Congregational Methodist Church services. The FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Brown asserted, "The actions of the defendant significantly damaged not only the church but also the community at large. I am proud of the work by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's office to hold Davis accountable for her actions and work toward repairing the public's trust."
Related Article:Former Employee of Saint Matthew Catholic Church and School Sentenced 2 Years in Prison After Stealing $574k For Gambling and Vacation
Soon after the church leaders discovered Carmen Ramer Davis's fraud, the Brooklyn Congregational Methodist Church closed due to financial hardship and has not reopened.
"The crimes committed by Ms. Davis victimized an entire faith community."https://t.co/fSEyW5EcXR— AL.com (@aldotcom) April 7, 2023