Public Safety

Former employee accused of stealing $50,000 from Iowa City church

IOWA CITY — Police arrested a Coralville woman over the weekend following accusations that she stole about $50,000 from a church where she worked.

According to the criminal complaint, Markell Leach, 23, was employed at First Baptist Church in Iowa City between June 1, 2016, and April 1, 2018.

During that time, police said Leach made “approximately 1,400 unauthorized and fraudulent transactions with her church-issued credit card totaling approximately $50,000 in misappropriation of funds,” according to the complaint.

Police said all the fraudulent purchases were personal, and most of the items were shipped directly to Leach’s home.

Leach faces charges of first-degree theft and unauthorized use of a credit card over $10,000, both Class C felonies.

Leach was arrested Saturday and has been released on her recognizance. She made her first appearance in Johnson County District Court on Tuesday.

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