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Lutheran Church Employee Pleads Guilty To Stealing $300,000

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 51-year-old Brooklyn Park woman pleaded guilty Thursday to embezzling more than $300,000 from a church, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Raenay Hendrickson pleaded guilty to five counts of theft by swindle over $5,000 for defrauding the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She will be sentenced on Nov. 4 and is expected to serve a 17-month prison term.

All sides agreed that her embezzling goes back to at least 2002. Hendrickson took nearly $318,000 between that time and when she was fired on July 15, 2012.

Hendrickson began working for the synod office in June 1996 and was doing the jobs of executive assistant to the bishop and bookkeeper, giving her full access to the church’s checking account.

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