BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) – One Vinton woman has been sentenced after pleading guilty to embezzling money from her former employer.
Former Mineral Springs Christian School secretary Christi Gray pleaded guilty Tuesday to four felony counts of embezzlement.
While called to the stand, she expressed regret over stealing approximately $68,400 from the school over two years’ time.
Mineral Springs Baptist Church Pastor Jason Gault also spoke in court Tuesday, saying the situation was life-altering and knocked off plans to raise teacher salaries and build a new playground. He also said community members lost faith in the school because of the situation.
Oakview Church of God Pastor Steve Garay said Gray has been a member of the church’s congregation. He says the two spoke after the situation came out, saying she expressed to him what she did was wrong.
Ultimately, Judge James Updike, Jr. sentenced Gray to 10 years of jail suspended after 12 months. She’ll also have to pay back the full amount of money.
“The big part of the case is the money and is returning the money. She has a plan to do that, she has a plan to work and return the money and make the church and the school whole again, which I think is important in this case,” said Cam Warren, Gray’s attorney. Warren said Gray planned to get a job to pay back in full the embezzled money. He said she could have it paid back in five to seven years.
“Hopefully [Mineral Springs Christian School] can put this behind them and [have] some closure to something that was a horrible thing to go through,” said Scott Albrecht, Bedford County Commonwealthy’s Attorney assistant.
“I’m very sorry,” said Gray near the end of Tuesday’s sentencing.
Gray will have to report to jail June 3.
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