Special News Release 4 Oct 18

On 2 Jul 18, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to Bethel Lighthouse Baptist Church, 5570 Warren Chapel Road,  Marietta, Ohio, in reference to a theft complaint.

Board Members and the Pastor reported that they believed the church treasurer, Betty Wheaton, had embezzled at least $200,000.00 from the church.   The treasurer report Wheaton provided them recently showed the church had $146,543.78 in their account, however upon going to the bank, they were advised there was only $51,124.86 in the account.   Also noted were discrepancies in the totals where the Sunday offering did not match the deposit.

On 12 Jul 18 Det. McPeek, with the assistance of Reserve Deputy Daugherty, went to Wheaton’s residence to conduct an interview with her.  Wheaton stated she has been with the church 41 years and she and another individual were the ones that signed checks.

The bank records for the past 7 years were given to Reserve Deputy Daugherty for analysis.  The analysis showed Betty Wheaton had written checks to “Cash” or to herself totaling $515, 283.71.

On 4 Oct 18 Det. McPeek requested a summons be issued to Betty L. Wheaton, age 71, 2400 Silver Globe Road, Marietta, Ohio, for a theft charge, a 3rd-degree felony.