Rochester accountant, church treasurer charged with theft of more than $400,000 from church
Patricia Ann Radich, 62, is charged in Olmsted County District Court with 12 felony counts of theft. She allegedly stole more than $400,000 from a Rochester church.
A Rochester accountant and church treasurer is charged with 12 felonies after she reportedly admitted to church leadership that she had stolen money to fund her gambling addiction.
The admission from 62-year-old Patricia Ann Radich came as the church was preparing to do a financial review in May 2020, according to court records.
A criminal complaint charging Radich with eight counts of theft by swindle and four counts of theft was filed in Olmsted County District Court on April 12, 2021.
She made her first appearance in court on the charges Wednesday morning where Judge Pamela King ordered Radich could remain free on conditions that she not enter any establishment where gambling occurs and that she sign a waiver of extradition. King also set unconditional bail at $5,000.
Radich's next court appearance is scheduled for July 20.
Rochester police were called by Trinity Lutheran Church on May 19, 2020, regarding the theft after Radich admitted to embezzling from the church and provided a spreadsheet of the money she took totaling $183,189.03, according to the criminal complaint.
The spreadsheet showed Radich allegedly stole the money between 2016 and 2019 and was done as a result of her gambling addiction.
A later audit of the church's accounting records found checks totaling $422,925.90 that were made out to Radich going back to 2013. The checks appeared to start in 2013 and increased over the years, ending in 2019. A review of Radich's bank statements revealed that a large amount of the funds that were withdrawn were done so at casinos.
"One day in particular, Radich withdrew $10,500 at a casino," the complaint reads. "There were several days where Radich would withdraw between $7,000 and $8,000 at the casino."
Radich told investigators the thefts ended in 2019 when she sought counseling for her addiction.
Radich, who worked at an accounting firm that represented the church as a client, admitted to church members that the bookkeeper the church had hired had some personal and family problems and that Radich took advantage of the situation and began writing herself checks, according to the complaint.
At the time of the report, Radich was a licensed certified public accountant and had been serving in the elected treasurer position at the church for about a dozen years.
The church wrote in a statement that charges being filed against Radich "was a difficult, but necessary, step as the congregation seeks to address the impact caused by the significant embezzlement of funds."
"Though the situation is very troubling, God has carried Trinity Lutheran Church through various adversities during its 153 years of ministry, and we are united in our belief that He will remain faithful and show us the way through our current challenges," the church's statement read.