MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ/AP) – A 77-year-old woman has been sentenced to five years of probation for taking money from a Warren church and ordered to repay $50,000.
Helen Gvozdich, of Roseville, was sentenced earlier this week in a Mount Clemens courtroom, avoiding the possibility of up to two years behind bars. She earlier pleaded guilty to embezzlement in an agreement with prosecutors. Court records say a judge also ordered her to perform community service.
Authorities said that between 2008 and 2009, Gvozdich took money from St. Stevan Decanski Serbian Orthodox Church, where she served as treasurer for many years.
Defense lawyer E. Philip Adamaszek said his client failed to obtain receipts when she paid funds to church members who bought things for the church. But prosecutors disputed that claim, saying they had proof that Gvozdich swiped $91,000.
The church agreed with less restitution because members hope Gvozdich has a better chance to pay that amount and will apologize, The Macomb Daily reported.
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