Crime & Courts

Ex-director of Inter-Faith Ministries gets probation after stealing $100,000 from church

Garland Egerton
Garland Egerton Courtesy photo

The former executive director of a religious charity in Wichita has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to stealing over $100,000 from his church.

Garland Egerton, 66, was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $129,556 in restitution, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a news release. The judge gave Egerton an underlying sentence of 32 months in prison if he violates his probation.

Egerton was also ordered to attend a theft offender class and to have no contact with the Unity of Wichita Church.

“His lack of criminal history and the request of the church were cited in the court’s decision to grant probation,” Bennett said in the release.

Egerton pleaded guilty last month to one county of theft after being charged in June 2018. He was the head of Wichita’s Inter-Faith Ministries until April.

He was a member and bookkeeper for Unity of Wichita Church, from which he embezzled over $100,000 between 2013 and 2018, Bennett said. The church discovered over $120,000 was missing after an audit.

A police detective wrote in an affidavit filed in Sedgwick County District Court that Egerton admitted to church leaders that he wrote checks to himself. He then used the church’s money to pay for personal living expenses.

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