A San Antonio woman is headed to prison after admitting that she stole more than half a million dollars from a Windcrest church.
Lavelle Wilson pled guilty to theft and misapplication of fiduciary property from New Creation Christian Fellowship on Feb. 4 in the 379th District Court. At the time the theft was uncovered, Wilson was the executive assistant to Bishop David Copeland. Overall, she had worked for the church for over 30 years. She was in charge of two of the church’s bank accounts. In 2019, New Creation’s Executive Committee conducted a review of financial reports and expenses. Wilson delayed turning over financial records and it was not until the church obtained the records from the bank that it was discovered that Wilson had been taking money from them as far back as 2014.
In all, Wilson took approximately $667,542 from the church to pay numerous personal expenses to include a trip to Hawaii, shopping sprees at local malls, dining at upscale restaurants, fast food, personal loan payments and personal cell phone payments. She also withdrew cash for unknown expenses. She has not paid any restitution.
Wilson, who had no criminal history, was sentenced to seven years in prison. She is currently awaiting transfer from the Bexar County Jail to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division.
“Members give to their church with the best of intentions. In this case, the money that was meant to be used by the church was instead funding this defendant’s lifestyle. New Creation Christian Fellowship trusted this defendant to help them do some good for our community. Her violation of that trust hurt this community. Now that she has accepted responsibility for her crime, I know the church and its members can focus on their faith and service to our community,” said Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales.
“We appreciate the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office for their diligence in prosecuting this case,” said Copeland.
Assistant District Attorneys Richard Guerra and Oscar Salinas of the Public Integrity and Cyber Crime Division prosecuted this case. Windcrest Police Department Lt. M.A. Williams investigated the case.