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Roanoke church preschool director indicted for embezzling money

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 4:35 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Months after a Roanoke preschool shut down, a former employee is charged with embezzlement, leading to the financial collapse of the preschool program at a local church.

The Roanoke Grand Jury issued an indictment for Keisha Christley for embezzling from the preschool at St. Marks’ Lutheran Church on Franklin Road in southwest Roanoke. Christley was the director of the preschool and was arrested August 7.

She allegedly stole money from the school sometime between January 2016 and March of this year. It’s unclear how much she is accused of embezzling.

The church’s pastor, James Armentrout, sent a letter to the church community April 16 announcing the preschool’s closure because it was no longer financially-sustainable. Then, he sent another note August 3, saying previous financial issues along with the embezzlement is why the preschool had to shut down for good.

Armentrout did not want to speak on camera at this time, but he wrote to WDBJ7: "Keisha is someone with whom we have formed a relationship. When that bond is broken it hurts. We pray for her and her family and trust the judicial system to be fair and just for us all."

The court has set bond for Christley at $1,500.

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