A former church treasurer is facing up to a year and a half in prison for allegedly laundering $18,000 from Lake Waynoka Community Chapel.
Miles A. Harrigan, 49, of Georgetown, was indicted by the Brown County Grand Jury in the Brown County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 10 with one count of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony. According to the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office, Harrigan is alleged to have spent nearly $18,000 of church funds for himself, creating unauthorized bank cards and making unauthorized ATM withdrawals, including withdrawing money at local casinos and bowling alleys.
(The church board) was able to identify multiple unauthorized transactions,” Brown County First Prosecuting Assistant Zac Corbin said. “Going though 2013, 2014, and 2015 through the end of July, we were able to identify nearly $18,000 of theft that occurred.” The $18,000 number is just what they can identify, hinting that Harrigan could have allegedly stolen even more money of which there may be no record of any financial transaction.
Corbin said a notice for a water bill that was past due alerted church members that something was amiss. The church treasurer was supposed to have two people sign all church checks, but Harrigan allegedly signed numerous checks on his own.
According to Corbin, the funds came out of the church’s general fund, a building fund, and a children’s fund, which was used by members to purchase gifts for needy children.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Corbin said. “We are bringing a forensic accountant from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to take a look at all the bank statements.”
If convicted, Harrigan is facing a maximum of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. Corbin confirmed that if convicted, the BCPO would be seeking restitution for the church as part of the sentence.
According to records filed with the court of common pleas, Harrigan was arraigned on Sept. 14 and was released on $20,000 bond. He has been ordered to have no contact with Lake Waynoka, the Lake Waynoka Community Chapel, or any Lake Waynoka employees.
In a separate, unrelated case, Matthew Smith and Jessica Barnett were both indicted following an alleged incident on Aug 7 that left Barnett unconscious from a drug overdose. According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the Brown County Municipal Court, Smith gave Barnett, his off-and-on girlfriend for the past few years, heroin in a syringe to use. After initially lying to law enforcement, Smith admitted he had traveled to Cincinnati to purchase heroin and then gave the last bit of the heroin he had to Smith, which she used prior to overdosing.
Barnett, in an interview with law enforcement in the affidavit, said she had been sober for 32 days and had come to Smith’s apartment to pack up her personal belongings so she could move in with her mother. According to a Margaret Smith in the affidavit, Smith had spent the past month in jail but was released on a child support warrant.
After Barnett was transported by Georgetown Fire and EMS to Mt. Orab Mercy and successfully treated, she was transported to the Georgetown Police Department, where she was read her Miranda rights, and then sent to the Brown County Adult Detention Center where she was held on charges of possession of heroin and possession of drug abuse instruments. Matthew Smith was also that evening transported to the Brown County Jail.
On Sept. 10, the Brown County Grand Jury charged Matthew Smith with one count of corrupting another with drugs, a second-degree felony, trafficking in heroin, a fifth-degree felony, possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony, and possessing drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor.
Barnett was charged with possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony, and possessing drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor.
Barnett was discharged from the Brown County jail on Sept. 11 on $5,000 bond, with additional orders to report weekly to Brown County Probation officers and submit to drug screenings.
Matthew Smith remains in the Brown County jail on $50,000 bond, as of press time.
Also indicted by the Brown County Grand Jury were:
Raleigh Campbell, 62, of Georgetown, on one count of having weapons while under disability, a third-degree felony, with specification for forfeiture of a weapon, specially a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun.
Jonathan T. Moore, 22, of Cincinnati, on one count of trafficking in marijuana, a fifth-degree felony, with specification for forfeiture of a gun, specifically a Ruger .45 caliber handgun, and one count of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, with specification for forfeiture of a weapon.
Joseph William Noschang, 32, of Georgetown, on two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and one count of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.
Scott Joseph Swearingen, 34, of Ripley, on one count of possession of heroin, a fourth-degree felony, and one count of possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony.