Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Christopher Paul Seiple, age 48 of New Brighton, was sentenced today by Judge Timothy McManus to 10 years of supervised probation in connection with the theft in excess 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. Seiple pled guilty December 11, 2019 to three counts of Theft by Swindle. Seiple was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $118,162.02, serve 30 days in jail and 30 days of electronic home monitoring.
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.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at Criminal Complaint Search. Previous news releases are available at County Attorney News Releases. If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: “We are pleased to have brought this former church employee to justice in this theft from a faith institution which was in part motivated by gambling."
Backstrom praised Assistant County Attorney Mary Russell, who prosecuted the case. Backstrom thanked the Mendota Heights Police Department for their thorough investigation of this matter.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.