East Liverpool man accused of stealing from church

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – A man from East Liverpool is in the Columbiana County Jail, charged with stealing from his own church.

William McGraw, 40, was arrested Wednesday after being indicted on theft charges.

Police in Columbiana said they were first called by leaders with the First United Methodist Church on South Main Street last August, where McGraw had served as both treasurer and music director.

Investigators said church leaders became suspicious after learning items were being purchased without anyone’s knowledge.

“We went back to 2012 and that is where we could prove things started to happen, and came forward to about 2014, in August, and we ended up finding about $47,000 that was missing,” said Columbiana Police Chief Tim Gladis.

The chief said his officers contacted the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to conduct a forensic audit of the church’s books and determined McGraw took money from the church’s money market accounts and used it to pay his own expenses.

He is due in court next week.

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