Woman arrested for stealing $36,000 from Port Charlotte church

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PORT CHARLOTTE, FL. - Charlotte County detectives have arrested a Deep Creek woman for stealing $36,454 from a Port Charlotte church.

Arrested was 51-year-old Karen Dougherty.

On Nov. 2, 2012, the Pastor of Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, 23456 Olean Boulevard, contacted CCSO to report he discovered Dougherty had fraudulently obtained church money between Nov. 18, 2010 and Sep. 21, 2012.

She handled the church financial matters as a board member and was fired. The pastor said he confronted Dougherty and she confessed to taking the money and would pay it back. Detectives reviewed copies of checks from the church’s bank; they found 65 different checks were cashed by Dougherty.

CCSO Detectives obtained surveillance video from two banks that showed Dougherty cashing the forged checks. Following their investigation and developing probable cause, detectives located Dougherty. She refused to comment and wanted an attorney.

Dougherty is charged with Grand Theft, Scheming to Defraud, and Uttering Forged Checks (65 counts). Her bond was set at $163,500.