A local woman is accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Springdale church.
Andrea Smith, 40, was arrested Dec. 5 on suspicion of felony theft of property, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The board members of Assembly of God Church gathered evidence on June 27 and initially estimated that at least $312,000 had been stolen. Board members found that Smith started embezzling from the church in 2012, the affidavit states.
Detective Justin Ingram received an email from Pastor Keith Underhill from the church on July 27, informing him that a church official went through all the financial statements, including Arvest Bank accounts and two credit card accounts, and found that a total of $413,701 had been embezzled, according to the affidavit.
Smith was responsible for entering financial information and generating reports for the church board. At some point, Smith began declining to answer board member questions and stopped attending board meetings, the affidavit states.
Underhill confronted Smith and demanded she produce reconciled bank statements. Within an hour, Smith gave Underhill a letter stating she had stolen approximately $10,000 in church funds, and that she began stealing in 2016, the affidavit states.
The church board investigated and found a far greater theft amount and that the thefts began in 2012, the affidavit states.
Smith was released on $1,500 bond.