MARIETTA — About a dozen members of the Bethel Lighthouse Baptist Church watched as their former treasurer of 41 years was sentenced to 30 months behind bars Monday for embezzling more than half a million dollars from the house of worship. Betty Wheaton, 80, had pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony charge of aggravated theft on March 7 after admitting to stealing $515,283.71 from the coffers of the church.
Oh no, Miss Betty! The next 30 months in prison…..and then an entire afterlife in hell. I'm not sure why anyone would ever steal from a church. I'd recommend theft from a bank or a large corporation. Because whether you believe in God or not, no one truly knows the answer. And I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to that eternal life thing. Eternity is a very long time. And I bet Jesus takes this kind of thing very seriously. The word on the street is that he's generally open to forgiveness, but stealing from his own house? Shame on you, Betty. Make sure you pack some light clothes. I heard it's warm down there!
But while Jesus probably won't brush this off, I must admit, I thought the court system would. I was under the impression that once you get to a certain age, you couldn't do jail time. I see old men and women leave the Eagles Club every Tuesday night absolutely rip-roaring drunk. They couldn't even see straight in the first place. But I've never seen any over 65 get a DUI. I figured they'd just drop them off at home. Sort of like a free Uber service. But apparently that is not the case when it comes to theft and fraud. Especially when this lady appears to be the female senior citizen version of Frank Abagnale.
During Wheaton’s arraignment in October, prosecutors said she used pre-signed two party checks from the church made out to herself as the method to steal the money.
No one ever suspected Little Miss Betty! But how in the world does the church not notice half a MILLION dollars missing? My church collects like $15 per service on Sundays. And I know she was the treasurer so she was the one seeing the statements, but I think someone would notice if all of the money from the last two hundred years just went missing. And apparently it was much more than $500K. That is just the amount that they are sure is missing since 2012. But Miss Betty has admitted to stealing an "unknown" amount since 1998.
Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Amy Graham said the total is only for the last seven years, but during the investigation, Wheaton admitted to taking money since 1998. She said the true amount of money taken is unknown.
Here's a little math for you people at home. If she stole $500K in 7 years, that would mean she could have around $1.5 million since 1998. Miss Betty is making more than a middle reliever in Major League Baseball. And forget the taxes! Miss Betty was taking cash only. So where did all of this money go???
Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Kerenyi tried to find out from Wheaton where the money went. “Are you addicted to drugs or gambling?” he asked. “No,” she replied. “Then where is the money?” he asked. “I don’t know,” she said.
Forgetfulness: a common side effect of old age.