Charities – Jail for church accountant

A Church of England charity accountant was jailed for ten months on Friday after being found guilty of embezzlement.

John Mapulanga, who had landed the job using false references, wrote cheques to his wife totalling almost #8,500 out of a church pension fund, Horseferry Road Court heard.

The ACCA member was finally caught forging cheques while administering funds for the Church Mission Society, an organisation which spends about #6m on international activities each year.

In the court, Magistrate Roger Davies told Mapulanga, 47: ‘I have read the letter written by you to your former colleagues expressing your deep remorse, but this body relies on charity to support it and, in return, it does good work around the world.’

Mapulanga, of East Surrey Grove, Peckham, South London, pleaded guilty to obtaining the job by deception, on or before 17 February, last year.

He further admitted obtaining a sum of nearly #8,500 by deception between 4 December 1997 and 29 January 1998.

Mapulanga’s superiors spoke to him, prosecutor Antoinette Clarke said, after the charity’s bankers contacted the society in January suspecting a forged cheque. He admitted forging the signature and making the cheque out to his wife.

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