HomeResourcesGovernment OfficialsVolume 24Issue 8FLINT MAN MUST REPAY NEARLY $37,000 FOR EMBEZZLING CHURCH’S CHARITABLE GAMING FUNDS

Government Officials

FLINT MAN MUST REPAY NEARLY $37,000 FOR EMBEZZLING CHURCH’S CHARITABLE GAMING FUNDS

A 79-year-old Flint man faces sentencing April 16 in 7th Circuit Court, Flint, after pleading guilty to embezzling charitable gaming funds and agreeing to repay $36,862 to St. Pius X Catholic Church and School in Flint, and other affiliated groups.

David Lee Thiese Sr. was charged with a 10-year felony count of embezzlement of $20,000 to $50,000 following a Michigan Gaming Control Board and Michigan Attorney General’s office investigation. He entered a guilty plea on the 10-year felony count at a pretrial conference in 67thDistrict Court, in Grand Blanc on February 22.

Thiese Sr. was listed as the event chairperson for 28 charitable poker events to benefit the church, it’s school and other affiliated organizations between 2012 and 2014.  Thiese Sr. deposited St. Pius X Church’s net profits from charitable gaming into an account he controlled. The charities earned nearly $60,000 in combined net profit from charitable gaming events, but he shared only $22,900 in proceeds with the church. Michigan law requires the entire net proceeds of a charitable gaming event be devoted exclusively to the charity’s purposes.

The charges followed an MGCB investigation of events held at the former Gloria’s Poker Palace, Lucky’s Poker Room and Pocket Aces. These purported “poker rooms” are among several Michigan locations where charitable gaming was discontinued following investigations by the Michigan Attorney General’s office and the MGCB. Thiese Sr. is the 15th person associated with the three locations to plead guilty to charitable gaming crimes since 2014.

 

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