Serving Mammon: Woman Accused of Using Stolen Check for Church Donation and Then Swiping Parishioners Wallet

20091006brk_graham-china_160And I thought John Ricci was damned. Police accuse China Graham of Ellwood City of laying hands on the faithful in the First Presbyterian Church in New Brighton, PA . . . well at least their valuables. She is accused of first using a stolen check for a donation and then grabbing a wallet from a women who left her purse in the pew when she went for communion.

It turns out that she is also quite nimble. Police say that Graham, 20, jumped out of a second-floor window when they showed up at her residence.

What is fascinating is that she used the stolen check to write a $50 contribution to the church with the notation “Mya Love.”

A warrant has been issued for access device fraud, theft and two counts of receiving stolen property. If captured, I would recommend a bench over a jury trial.

By the way, the theft of purses during masses is becoming a national trend, here, here and here.

For the full story, click here.

6 thoughts on “Serving Mammon: Woman Accused of Using Stolen Check for Church Donation and Then Swiping Parishioners Wallet”

  1. Sadly, Church Fraud is a very real concern, with potential risk from the outside as well as within. There are simple steps to increase the security of a church’s finances but it is difficult to know where to start. I recently found out about a Christian Accounting firm that offers online tools and support for churches. They have some excellent resources as well as an online questionnaire that will determine whether a church is at risk. Their service is called Weeds in the Garden.

  2. erykah,

    Not only is she a bad person, from what an employee told me this morning, “Mya Love” is an actual porn star’s name. I’m not saying anything about that other than it’s peculiar coincidence, but I do have a question for you.

    As a strong voice for black women here, can you perhaps shed some light on if there were other pressures for this person to behave as they did that are not readily apparent to the causal reader. I do have experience with some black churches and many churches in general and I can see where in some of the more “questionable” parishes that the incentive to tithe can border on extortion – not a problem unique to black churches and in fact more probably more prevalent in the “mega church/wealth theology” scene, but a possible influence nonetheless.

    I ask because I find this an inordinately odd crime – a theft from a person visiting an organization (leave out the sanctuary/religious aspects) committed against a third party where the goal was not theft for the thief’s gain, but where the goal was the “unjust enrichment” (to misuse a contracts term) for a third party ORGANIZATION. It’s like Robin Hood in reverse. If there is some specifically cultural dynamic with black spiritual life I am missing here that could lead this woman to think this is a rational decision (and by your post, I’m thinking there isn’t), I’d sure appreciate the assistance in piecing it together.

  3. “Mya Love?” What does that mean? Did she misspell the word my? I guess it’s all part of the prosperity gospel baby!

  4. This give a new meaning to “The Lord Helps those who help themselves” Amen Brotha and Sista’s. Let us pillage together on our knees.

    Praise the Lord, Pay The Leader. . . . .

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