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UK VOICE: Pastor, wife accused of stealing $430,000 from church

Published:Monday | June 25, 2012 | 11:05 AM

A US pastor and his wife have accused of stealing close to half a million dollars from their former church and gambling the money away.

Charles Gifford, who was once the pastor at the Bethel Institutional Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, allegedly took $430,000 worth of church donations to fund trips to the Coushatta Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Prosecutors have said that Charles and wife Adriane stole the cash in periods between 2004 and 2007.

Amy McCauley, an investigator for the white collar crimes division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office told KHOU: “Over that three-year period they were able to take that total of $430,000 from that little Baptist church.”

Friend of the couple, Regina Davis, reportedly said: “And when I tell you they were impeccable people, outstanding people willing to help. This is a little bit too much for me.”

If convicted the couple could get five years to life in prison.