Former LA church chairman charged with $11.4M theft

August 26, 2019 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former board chairman of the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist in Los Angeles has been charged with stealing $11.4 million and using it for personal expenses, including buying a home and a membership to an exclusive dining club at Disneyland.

Fifty-four-year-old Charles Sebesta of Huntington Beach was arrested Monday on a federal grand jury indictment alleging wire fraud, bank fraud and identity theft.

It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Prosecutors say for at least a decade beginning in 2006, Sebesta had money sent to bank accounts in his name, the names of his family members and several phony companies.

Sebesta’s also accused of wiring about $2 million to his personal tax accounts in order to overpayment refunds.

If convicted, he could face more than 250 years in prison.