Woman Who Spent $1.1 Million of Texas Church's Money on Cars, Handbags, Dog Spa Gets 3-plus Years

A Houston woman was sentenced to more than three years in prison for spending more than $1.1 million of a Texas church's money on extravagances including jewelry, luxury cars and spa treatments for her dog while she was the church's bookkeeper.Rosina K. Blanco, 38, pleaded guilty in October to one count of wire fraud and was sentenced Monday to 41 months behind bars. She also must pay $1,107,425.91 in restitution.Blanco was hired in 2015 to be the bookkeeper for the Basilian Fathers Missions in Sugar Land. The group raises money to benefit schools in Colombia and Mexico and reports to a Catholic order in Toronto.For more than a year, prosecutors said, Blanco fraudulently arranged for funds from the mission's accounts to be transferred to her personal accounts.Blanco spent the money — which was supposed to help disadvantaged Colombian and Mexican children — on a host of luxury items, including cars, real estate, jewelry, Louis Vuitton handbags and goods and services for her dog."From a position of great trust, this woman placed greater importance on her dog than on the children many parishioners and donors worked hard to support," U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick said in a statement. "She decided to treat herself to designer handbags and thousands of dollars on doggy spa treatments. Brazen theft of this magnitude is disgraceful."  Continue reading...

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