Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Thousands from Church


LUBBOCK, TX -- After embezzling more than $450,000 from her church, a former accounts manager has accepted a plea deal.

According to law enforcement, between 2013 and 2018, Lisa Dawn Stabeno was worked for Church on the Rock’s “Dream Center,” an outreach program. According to the non-denominational church, the program was "founded for ministry to underserved individuals in East Lubbock.”

During her five years with the organization, Stabeno used church funds to pay for personal expenses and vacations to Disneyland and Las Vegas.

She also used church credit cards to pay medical and dental expenses, purchase supplies for her bakery, and pay for clothing, salon services, and restaurant meals.

Stabeno's family also received church funds after she used the accounts to pay multiple family members for working for her business.

The indictment alleges Stabeno made "128 unauthorized online transfers of money totaling $332,085.02 from Church Prosperity Bank accounts to make payments on the personal credit card balances.”

“Stabeno used her Capital One credit card and the Citibank credit card held under her daughter’s name to pay for personal expenses and purchases, to prop up her business, to give money to her daughters, and to pay the salaries of her bakery employees,” the document alleged.

"Although Stabeno used various means to conceal her fraud, which makes it difficult to prove with complete certainty the amount she embezzled in her scheme to defraud, the provable amount is in excess of $450,000.”

Stabeno was fired in 2018 after the church discovered her fraudulent practices. The church was then forced to terminate employees, seek donations from its parishioners and obtain a bank loan after losing a large number of funds.

She may face up to 30 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $1 million, up to five years of supervised release, and possible restitution to victims or the community.

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