MSP Conducts Second Search Warrant At Priest's Williamston Residence
July 19, 2018
A second search warrant has been served at the Williamston home of a priest accused of embezzling from a church in Okemos.
Detectives from the Michigan State Police First District Special Investigation Section executed a second search warrant at the residence of Reverend Jonathan Wehrle, who is accused of embezzling more than $5 (m) million from St. Martha Church in Okemos. Information was developed by detectives from the Lansing Police Department who assisted Special Investigation Section detectives in developing probable cause for a second search warrant.
As a result of the search warrant, $63,392 in cash was seized from the residence. Police say the currency was hidden above ceiling tiles in the basement. A majority of the cash seized was in $2,000 bundles of $20-dollar bills with paper cash bands that were stamped: For Deposit Only - St. Martha Parish and School. Additional evidence was seized from the home related to the investigation. Wehrle was in the residence, along with two other persons, during the execution of the search warrant.
The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office will be addressing the forfeiture of the seized money, as it is believed to be embezzled funds from St. Martha’s Parish. In total, authorities say $1,107,444.98 has been seized from Wehrle in an attempt to recover embezzled funds from the church. A circuit court pretrial conference for Wehrle is scheduled August 2nd. He’s charged with six counts of embezzling $100,000 or more. The charges allege Wehrle used the money to pay for home construction, maintenance and other personal purchases. Photo: WLNS. (JM)