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Former church employees stole $1.5 million in donations from church

Vero Beach Police
Vero Beach Police

A former parishioner has turned herself in after she stole millions of dollars for the church she worked for.
Authorities began investigating the possible misappropriation of funds at the Holy Cross Catholic Church after the Diocese of Palm Beach contacted them in December of 2021.
Over the length of their investigation, they found that more than $1.5 million in donations to the church had been placed in an account not accessible to the Diocese of Palm Beach.
Investigators found that 69-year-old Deborah True who was the parish administrator and former Pastor Father Richard Murphy opened up a fraudulent bank account under the name of “Holy Cross Catholic Church.”
Police say the two then began depositing church funds into that bank account over 5 years.
Investigators also reported that True used over $500,000 to pay off lines of credit and deposited $147,000 in her checking account.
Father Richard Murphy also benefited from the fraudulent account but because he passed away in 2020, his crimes were not investigated.
True turned herself in at the Indian River County Jail but has since bonded out.