Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Christopher Paul Seiple, age 48 of New Brighton, was charged* by summons with four counts of Theft by Swindle in connection with the theft of $33,000 from November of 2018 through May of 2019 from the Mendota Heights Catholic church where he was employed as the Director of Operations.
A summary of the allegations contained in the criminal complaint is set forth below:
On July 3, 2019, law enforcement responded to a report of suspected theft from a church in Mendota Heights. An individual conducting an audit of the church's financial records discovered several suspicious transactions involving Seiple, who was the former Director of Operations for the church. Several checks issued to vendors by Seiple on behalf of the church were for invoices that had already been paid. These checks were deposited using a mobile application into Seiple's personal account.
Seiple admitted to law enforcement that he had issued several checks to vendors on behalf of the church but had deposited the checks into his own bank account. He also admitted these checks were unauthorized and fraudulent. The approximate amount of suspicious checks from November 10, 2018 to May 24, 2019 was over $33,000.
Seiple told investigators that he was behind on his mortgage and had been purchasing up to $400 worth of scratch off tickets a day.
A copy of the criminal complaint is available at Criminal Complaint Search.
Backstrom commented: “The theft of any amount of funds from a faith community is deeply disturbing."
Backstrom thanked the Mendota Heights Police Department for their thorough investigation of this matter.
Seiple was charged by summons. His first court appearance is set for October 7, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4438.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.