NORWICH (AP) — The former treasurer of a Connecticut church who stole more than $43,000 of church money and spent it on food and golf outings has avoided prison. The Norwich Bulletin reported that Andrew Rushford, 64, pleaded guilty last week to larceny. As part of a plea deal, Rushford will be sentenced in May to five years’ probation and be required to pay restitution.
Norwich police opened an investigation in 2016 when they were contacted by a warden at Grace Episcopal Church, who said the state diocese had not received required payments. Rushford, a former car salesman who lived on the church property in Yantic, was the sole manager of the church’s debit card and checkbook at the time. The Norwich police arrested Rushford on July 18, 2016, and said the money had been embezzled over a period of about three years.
Prosecutors said members of the church were upset that Rushford had violated their trust but asked for leniency.