Man charged with stealing $33,000 from Mendota Heights church

A New Brighton man was charged Aug. 15 for allegedly stealing more than $30,000 from a Mendota Heights church. 

Christopher Paul Seiple, 48, was charged in Dakota County District Court with four counts of theft by swindle in connection with the theft of $33,000 from a Mendota Heights Catholic church were he was director of operations.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, a $20,000 fine or both.

According to court documents, law enforcement responded on July 3 to a report of suspected theft from the church. An auditor discovered several suspicious transactions allegedly involving Seiple — he’d issued checks to vendors on behalf of the church for invoices that had already been paid.

According to court documents, the checks were deposited using a mobile app into his personal account. Seiple allegedly admitted to police he issued several checks on behalf of the church but deposited them into his own bank account. He allegedly admitted the checks were unauthorized and fraudulent. 

Seiple allegedly told police he needed the money because he was behind on his mortgage and was buying up to $400 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets each day.

The suspicious checks were written between Nov. 10, 2018, and May 24, 2019.

Seiple’s first court appearance is Oct. 7.

 

—Hannah Burlingame

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