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72-year-old Indianapolis lady sentenced to two years in jail for stealing nearly $600,000 from a parish



Indianapolis, Indiana – The U.S. Department of Justice reported Monday that an Indianapolis woman, 72, who fraudulently transferred more than $500,000 from a Catholic parish’s business accounts to her own personal accounts, received a two-year sentence in federal prison.

Fraud by wire was admitted to by Marie Carson. Carson was given a prison term, and two years of probation after her release, and was also required to pay $573,836.59 in restitution.

According to court records, while employed as the business manager for St. Matthew Parish, which is in charge of the St. Matthew Catholic Church and School on E. 56th Street in Indianapolis, between 2008 and 2021, Carson transferred $573,836.59 to herself. She handled checks from parishioners and carried out financial transactions on the parish’s behalf while she was the sole employee in charge of overseeing the parish’s finances.

According to the authorities, Carson’s plot was discovered in November 2021 while she was on vacation. A suspect transfer from the parish’s gaming account to an outside bank account was discovered by her interim replacement. Over $289,000 in transactions to other accounts, including a fictitious account opened in the name of the church, were found after further examination.

The D.O.J. claimed Carson was able to keep the fraud going by inserting bogus data into the database the parish used to keep track of payments. The majority of the funds were used by Carson and her husband on gaming and travel.

Officials highlighted that given that Carson told the church she started this plan in 2004, the true financial loss is probably substantially larger.

“Her greed and desire for lavish vacations outweighed her interest in following the dictates of our criminal laws and the teachings of her church, ‘thou shalt not steal,’” said attorney Zachary A. Myers.


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