A former Del City church employee embezzled more than $450,000 from the church, according to federal authorities.
Darla Bralley, 59, of Oklahoma City, has been sentenced to serve 24 months in federal prison for embezzling about $451,177 from St. Paul The Apostle Catholic Church in Del City over a six-year period, said U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.
Bralley worked as a payroll administrator for the church from 2012 through early 2020, according to authorities. In that role, Bralley had the authority to issue checks for authorized expenses on behalf of the church, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors say Bralley issued about 198 unauthorized checks, drawn from St. Paul’s checking account, to pay for various personal items including personal credit card payments, utilities, and living expenses. Bralley also made about 1,068 fraudulent, unauthorized transfers from the church’s checking account to pay her personal expenses. In all, Bralley defrauded St. Paul out of about $451,177.54.
According to the information, beginning in early 2014 and continuing through at least January 2020, she devised a scheme to defraud and obtain money from St. Paul.The information also alleges that on her 2018 U. S. Individual Income Tax Return, Bralley reported a total income that was substantially lower than what she received during the year because of the fraud.
Bralley was charged in Aug. 2022 with wire fraud and making and filing a false tax return. She pleaded guilty in September 2022 to the charges. As part of her plea, Bralley admitted to embezzling $451,177.54 from the church and she further admitted that she did not declare those funds on her annual tax returns.
At the sentencing hearing Oct. 17, U. S. District Judge Scott L. Palk sentenced Bralley to serve 24 months in federal prison and ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $544,173.54. In announcing the sentence, the judge noted that $451,177.54 would be paid to St. Paul, and $92,996.00 would be paid to the IRS.