A woman working at an accounting firm was charged with helping a Minneapolis pastor forge $235,000 in stolen checks.
Cheri Keltner, 38, of Brooklyn Park, was scheduled to make her first court appearance Thursday. She's charged with six felony counts of theft by swindle.
The investigation against Keltner and Dedric Willis started in August 2013 when an employee of Horst Educational Associates and Rechelbacher Properties informed police that blank checks had been stolen from the organization's accounting firm. Multiple checks ranging from $30,000 to $45,000 had been deposited at metro banks to accounts belonging to Truth Worship Center and TWC Ministry, according to the criminal complaint.
Willis, 39, of Brooklyn Park, is pastor at Truth Worship Center in north Minneapolis. He was charged last year in connection with the thefts. He spent the money on airplane and cruise tickets, clothing, furniture, restaurant meals and other expenses.
Keltner, who worked at Clifton Larson Allen, agreed to steal the checks for Willis because he agreed to cash them. She told him she needed cash to move her children to a new apartment, the complaint said.
He coached her sons in basketball, and he gave her $5,000 in a pair of socks, the complaint said.