Onalaska church secretary guilty of stealing $832K - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Onalaska church secretary guilty of stealing $832K

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Madison, WI (WXOW) - -

A West Salem woman pleads guilty in federal court to taking more than $832,000 in her role as church secretary and accounting clerk of an Onalaska church. 

On August 25, Barbara L. Snyder, 59, as part of a plea deal, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false income tax return. 

Federal prosecutors said that between 2006 and 2015, Snyder embezzled $832,210 of church collections from St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church and Parish. 

The money she took, according to prosecutors, went for gambling. 

To cover up her crimes, prosecutors said she discarded records of church collections, falsified entries in accounting records, and lied to church auditors. 

The income tax return charge came about when in 2015 she underreported her gross income by not reporting her embezzled proceeds.

“Barbara Snyder abused her position of trust within the church by stealing from the collection plate and spending part of it gambling,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Hubbard Burgess, St Paul Field Office, IRS Criminal Investigations, in a statement Monday.

Snyder is scheduled for sentencing on November 9. She faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud charge and up to three years on the tax evasion charge. 

As part of the plea deal, she must also make restitution for the money taken. 

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