EDMOND — The former business manager of a prominent Edmond church was charged Monday with eight felony counts, authorities said.
Bill Dwight Coyle, 62, was named in charges presented Friday in Oklahoma County. The district attorney's office accepted and filed the charges late Monday afternoon, Edmond police spokeswoman Jennifer Monroe said.
Coyle was not booked into the Oklahoma County jail Monday.
The investigation began in July as an embezzlement complaint when an audit revealed more than $109,000 was missing from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 924 S Littler Ave., according to an Edmond police report. Coyle was the business manager of the church at the time, the report states. The money was thought to have gone missing between Jan. 1, 2004, and Feb. 1, 2012, a police report shows.
Eight counts of Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act violations were instead sought after a joint investigation by police and the white-collar crimes division of the district attorney's office. The felony counts were sought in lieu of multiple misdemeanor counts of embezzlement, Monroe said.
Before the complaint was filed with police this summer, the church hired an independent firm to review records, according to a statement issued by the church.
“During a recent parish assessment project, a possible misappropriation of church funds by a church employee was discovered. In consultation with the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, an independent CPA firm was retained to conduct a review of certain books and records of the church to ascertain what had actually happened. While the CPA firm's review was limited to certain accounts and records of the church, it did confirm the misuse of church funds,” according to an email statement issued in July.
No one answered the church phone Monday evening, and Coyle's attorney was not available for comment.