Anglican Watch

Former Episcopal church accountant gets five years for embezzlement

Andrew Patrick Landsperger

Courtesy of the Virginia Pilot. Original here.

VIRGINIA BEACH — A former accountant for Galilee Episcopal Church was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for embezzling more than $175,000 from the Oceanfront church, according to prosecutors.

The sentence was handed down to Andrew Patrick Landsperger by Virginia Beach Circuit Judge James C. Lewis, according to a news release from the city’s commonwealth’s attorney’s office.

State sentencing guidelines — which recommend a punishment based on a defendant’s history and the circumstances of the crime — had suggested Landsperger serve no more than four years and two months, the release said. He pleaded guilty in July to embezzlement and credit card fraud.

Landsperger’s attorney, David Good of Virginia Beach, didn’t immediately respond on Wednesday to a request for comment.

According to prosecutors, Landsperger used the church’s credit card to pay for $34,653 in purchases on his Amazon account from January through August 2022. He also used his access to the church’s payroll system to alter his salary, collecting $134,839 more than he was supposed to receive, the release said.

Landsperger, 46, of Chesapeake, also admitted to stealing donations collected from church members during Sunday services, the release said.

Prior to Landsperger offering to handle the collection money, Galilee averaged about $450 a week in donations. The amount dropped to under $200 after he took over, then returned to normal after he was fired. The estimated loss was approximately $7,000.

Landsperger was fired in August 2022 after the credit card fraud was discovered, the release said. In total, the church’s estimated loss was $176,536. It was able to recover a total of $112,324 from its insurance company and a reimbursement from its credit card company, the release said.

Lewis ordered Landsperger to pay restitution in the amount of $64,199 to Galilee to make up for the amount not covered. He also was ordered to pay $100,000 to the insurance company.

Jane Harper,

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