52-year-old Angela Rubio is an ex-church secretary who stole more than $170,000. She took it from the First Baptist Church of Elm Mott, in Waco, Texas.
On Friday, she was sentenced to probation for 10 years after a judge scolded her, saying she “robbed from God.”
Judge Thomas West offered Rubio probation or a prison sentence. He feared she wouldn’t be able to pay the church back, but she chose probation. She told the judge that she would work several jobs as she attempts to pay back what she took.
In June, Rubio pleaded guilty to theft of over $150,000 but less than $300,000 from a non-profit organization. This is a first-degree felony that could result in a life in prison.
Rubio’s lawyer told the judge that she could pay $12,000 right then and $3,000 on Monday. She has probation and restitution fees. Thus, Rubio was informed that she would have to pay $1,500 a month to the probation department.
The judge added that he wasn’t sentencing Rubio to prison because the church forgave her and wants to be paid back.
Rubio was employed as a secretary/treasurer at the church from 2013 to 2019. She confessed to taking the church funds by using their debit card for personal items, court documents note.
In November 2019, Pastor Jeb Barr ordered an audit of church funds. This came after a bounced check was written to a heating business. The audit revealed $173, 370 had been stolen from the church since 2017.
Rubio can be sentenced to prison at a later date if she doesn’t repay the money or proves that she isn’t able to pay it back.
The church is said to have about 25-30 members.
“…We are a small church with an old building, and that $100,000 was to be the beginning of saving up someday to replace that building..”
Rubio was ordered to pay $15,000 by August 29, give the church back $173,370, and go to jail on the weekends, for 12 weeks, as guidelines of her probation.