Union Woman Convicted Of Stealing $200,000 From Pastor

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ELIZABETH — A Union Township woman was convicted Thursday afternoon on theft charges after an investigation revealed that she stole more than $200,000 from a pastor, announced Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Trunice Thomas Hunter, 59, worked as a caretaker for a pastor who worked at both the St. Paul AME church in East Orange and the First Baptist Church in Union Township, said Assistant Prosecutor Anne Marie Gibbons, who prosecuted the case.

Hunter began caring for the pastor in late 2007 and, according to Assistant Prosecutor Gibbons, in May 2008 Hunter began withdrawing money from the pastor’s bank accounts without his knowledge or consent and using the funds for personal items. This continued until March 2010 when a bank investigator noticed suspicious activity in the pastor’s account and alerted police, said Gibbons.

Following an investigation by the Union Township Police Department Hunter was charged with numerous counts of second degree theft by deception and third degree forgery in August 2010.

A Union County jury convicted Hunter following a month-long trial and three days of deliberation. She faces 40 years in prison when sentenced on April 12, and will be ordered to pay restitution.

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