For two years, a Sarasota couple used a Chase business credit card to buy things from Amazon and withdraw cash.
The $39,471.99 problem? The card belonged to Faith Baptist Church.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested Nolan and Amanda Towner on scheme to defraud charges Tuesday.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Amanda Towner, 25, worked as the bookkeeper for the church, located at 8751 Fruitville Road. Nolan, 30, helped with audio-visuals and IT work voluntarily.
Starting in September 2014, Nolan Towner used the church’s credit card to make purchases on his personal Amazon account and used his personal Square account, a device that lets business owners swipe credit cards from an iPad or iPhone, to withdraw money to deposit into his personal bank account. The final amount nearly made it to $40,000.
Each month, Amanda Towner kept track of the church’s books and knew of the expenses but didn’t bring it to the church’s attention. According to the affidavit, Amanda Towner would use church funds to pay off the credit card balance.
After being read his Miranda rights, Nolan Towner admitted to using the card fraudulently, according to the sheriff’s office.
The problem grew out of control after he used the card a few times in the beginning, he told deputies. Amanda Towner said they were having marital problems and hoped it would stop, according to the affidavit.