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Pastor swindled nonprofit

A minister charged with qualifying people for cash assistance stole money for three years from a nonprofit organization, police say.

Thomas Croyle, 44, Carpenters Park Road, Davidsville, embezzled $18,615 from St. Francis Sharing and Caring Inc., a nonprofit organization located in Conemaugh Township, between May 2005 and June 2008, according to court documents.

He is charged with 56 counts each of theft by deception, failure to make required disposition of funds, theft and receiving stolen property.

Conemaugh Township police said the organization’s primary goal is to provide cash assistance and food to eligible individuals in need. Through the cash assistance program checks are made directly to utility companies, landlords or mortgage companies, police said. Croyle determined individual eligibility and forwarded cash assistance requests to the corporation’s treasurer, police said.

Croyle created a fictitious company, C & A Management Services in Jerome, and had checks made payable to the company, police said.

Wessel & Co., a Johnstown accounting firm, conducted an investigation, examining accounting records, cash assistance request sheets, vendor invoices, cash receipts registers and cash distribution registers. The investigation revealed a financial loss as a result of Croyle’s actions.

The nonprofit is still open and Croyle is no longer with the organization. He is the former pastor of the Stahl Mennonite Church in Johnstown.

A woman who answered the telephone at Croyle’s residence said he was “not interested.”

Croyle is scheduled to be arraigned before Windber District Judge Joseph Cannoni at 9:15 a.m. March 16.