CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WATE) — A Tennessee man could face up to 20 years in prison and other penalties after he pled guilty to defrauding a church where he worked for several years.
David Michael Apps, 50, of Chattanooga, pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Monday. A release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee details a multiyear scheme from when he worked as the business manager of Broad Street United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Tennessee.
According to court documents filed by the United States, Apps used an official church credit card to pay for more than $1.5 million dollars in personal expenses from 2014 to 2021. Expenses included personal travel, automobiles, a luxury watch, boat and marina fees, and firearms.
Apps also wrote checks to himself claiming to be donations from church members to support treatment for brain cancer, a disease he did not have.
He faces up to 20 years in prison in addition to fines, restitution, and forfeiture of property. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 27 in Chattanooga.