The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will return $150,000 in tithing money which was donated by a man pleading guilty to fraud.
Curtis DeYoung of Draper, Utah, pleaded guilty to stealing $25 million dollars from 5,400 victims through his pension services company and was sentenced to 10 years in prison last fall.
He and his wife Michelle donated $239,755 to the church as tithing. A suit was filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to recover the stolen money and the church was sued by the receiver appointed by the court to recover the funds.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement to Deseret News there is an “existing, careful process” in place whenever the church is requested to return tithing funds.
“In this case, that has been complicated by the fact that there was a request for the return of tithing from a family member who did not plead guilty to the charges,” Hawkins said. “So it takes time and discussion, but the church has cooperated fully in the negotiation of a settlement.”
A settlement has been reached and accepted by the court system, with the church agreeing to return $150,000.