Ex-Church Official Sentenced for Embezzling Over $1 Million

November 22, 2008

barry-herr.jpgA 62-year-old man was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Friday for embezzling about $1.1 million from the church organization where he once worked.

Barry R. Herr, who pleaded guilty in June to mail fraud, also was ordered to pay $800,000 in restitution to the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Prosecutors said Herr, of Lancaster, took the money over 22 years while working for the church group as treasurer. The theft was exposed after Herr was terminated for unrelated reasons and the church group discovered suspicious checks.
Herr was ordered to begin serving his prison sentence four days after Christmas.
He has already repaid the church $309,000, and his lawyer said Friday Herr intends to pay back the rest.
Herr cooperated fully, said defense attorney Gerald Lord.
“He went into court today expecting justice, and justice was done, in his opinion,” Lord said.
Lord said Herr spent the money on expensive cars and other personal items and is a gambling addict.
The Harrisburg-based synod has about 122,000 members in nine mid-state counties.
Source: AP

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