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Former Chairman of Southern California Church Sentenced to More than 10 Years for Stealing $11 Million in Church Funds

Posted by John Rogers | Sep 04, 2021

The U.S. Attorney's Office reported that Charles Sebesta, of Huntington Beach, was sentenced by U.S District Judge Stephen V. Wilson to 130 months in federal prison. Wilson also ordered Sebasta to pay $11,438,213 in restitution. Sebesta was the ex-chairman of the board for the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, of Los Angeles.

Sebesta pleaded guilty in February 2020. According to court documents, the church hired Sebesta in 2001 as its facilities manager. He joined the church four years later and ultimately served as its chairman, giving him control over the financial assets and operations, including bank accounts.

From 2006 through 2016, Sebesta caused the church to make check and other payments to fictitious companies Sebesta created, as well as to Sebesta's personal bank account. Several other victims were named, including a private high school in Los Angeles.

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