Springdale, AR (KFSM) – A Fayetteville woman is accused of embezzling nearly half a million dollars over six years from a Springdale church.
Andra Nicole Smith, 40, was arrested Dec. 6 in connection with theft of property — a Class B felony when the amount of stolen money tops $25,000.
A certified fraud examiner found $413,701.78 was stolen from First Assembly of God dating back to 2012, including $30,000 that was charged to a church credit card, according to an arrest report.
Pastor Keith Underhill first became concerned about the church’s accounting in September 2017, when he found several discrepancies in monthly financial statements.
In June, Underhill and the board confronted Smith, who said in a letter she stole roughly $10,000 starting in 2016. Church officials continued to review accounting documents and found more than $175,000 had been stolen.
A month later, Smith wrote in another letter her theft began in 2012 and amounted to more than what she previously admitted, according to the report.
A fraud examiner reviewed the church’s financial statements over the summer, including Arvest bank accounts and credit cards, to come up with the final number.
Church officials were unable to be reached for comment. It’s unclear what Smith’s exact role was within the church.
Smith is free on a $1,500 bond. She has a hearing set for January 2019 in Washington County Circuit Court.
In Arkansas, Class B felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.