Church Employee Is Sentenced to Over 5 Years in Prison for Embezzling Nearly Half a Million Dollars From Congregation

LUBBOCK, Texas – Lisa Dawn Stabeno was sentenced to five and-a-half years in federal prison – having taken a plea deal in May for embezzlement. She admitted she stole more than $450,000 from Church on The Rock in Lubbock.

Stabeno began working for the church’s Dream Center in July 2013. She later became the church accounting manager.

Stabeno used church credit cards to pay for medical and dental expenses. She also bought clothing, salon services, and restaurant meals on the church’s credit cards.

The original indictment against her in December 2020 laid out some of the items she put on the church credit cards. They included payments of medical debts for her family members, rent payments for family members and car loan payments for family members. She also used church credit cards to pay down credit card debts of family members.

The indictment said she used church money, “to supplement her business income; pay for personal expenses, including restaurant meals and spa services; and pay for vacations to various destinations, including Disney Land, LegoLand, Six Flags over Texas, and Las Vegas.”

During the sentencing hearing, she took the stand and tearfully apologized.

After the apology, U.S. District Court Judge James Wesley Hendrix said, “Talk is very cheap at this point.”

“You were trusted with accounts and misappropriated funds,” Hendrix said. “You did it again, and again and again.”

In addition to her prison sentence, she was ordered to pay back $450,000 to the church. Stabeno was not in custody Thursday morning. She must surrender herself to the bureau of prisons on December 30.

Source: Everything Lubbock