Calhoun couple arrested on over 400 felony charges after embezzling $212K from local church

According to Calhoun Police Department reports, Back in July 2022, a detective from Calhoun Police Department spoke to individuals at Belmont Baptist Church, 275 W. Belmont Drive. The pastor at the time, Stephen Williams, stated that a former church secretary, then Melanie Ann Land, was embezzling money from the church by unauthorized purchases made with church credit cards — things like personal items for her home as well as vacations. The church hired a forensic accountant who provided the detective documentation of her forensic audit of the church’s financial records. Her investigation revealed unauthorized charges on three separate credit cards. According to the report, The total amount embezzled from Belmont Baptist Church was $212,008.09. After a very lengthy investigation, Land, now going by Melanie Ann Temple, 40, was arrested by Calhoun Police Department alongside her husband, Chad Lamar Temple, 38, on Jan. 31. Both were charged with with 60 counts of criminal receipt of goods, 138 counts of criminal receipt of goods or services fraudulently obtained, 198 counts of financial transaction card fraud, and one count each of financial transaction card theft and theft by deception all felonies charges. Chad Temple was also charged with violating his probation with original charge of selling methamphetamine. Melanie Temple has since bonded out while Chad Temple remains in Gordon County Jail. 

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