ROCHESTER, Minn. – A woman accused of embezzling over $100,000 from a church is pleading not guilty.
Patricia Ann Radich, 63 of Rochester, was charged in April with 12 counts of theft. Court documents state Radich is a licensed certified public accountant who served as treasurer for her church. Investigators say Radich admitted to church leaders in May 2020 to stealing $183,189 to support her gambling addiction.
The Rochester Police Department says the church had conducted a major fundraising campaign in 2015, raising gifts and pledges of $1.15 million for remodeling projects. Radich allegedly confessed to taking advantage of all that money coming in to siphon off some for her gambling debts between 2016 and 2019.
Court records state an audit of church financial records found $422,925 in checks made out to Radich going back to 2013 and ending in 2019. Investigators say the money was deposited into an account and ATM records allegedly show Radich withdrawing thousands of dollars from that account some days at a casino.
Radich pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday. Her trial is scheduled to begin on March 28, 2022 in Olmsted County District Court.