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NEWS: Pastor Caught on Video Taking Money From Church Offering 9 Times Cleared After Court Dismisses Case

The criminal charges against a New York
City pastor who congregants accused of taking money from the church’s
offering plate at least nine different times last year have been dropped
after the pastor claimed he used the money for church-related expenses.

Pastor
Daniel Impaglia of the evangelical Rock Church in Manhattan’s Upper
East Side was arrested and charged with petit larceny last November
after congregants claimed to have video evidence of him stealing from
the church offering.

Although congregants charged that the 71-year-old Impaglia stole church donations at least nine different times between
Oct. 28 and Nov. 21, 2016, Impaglia refused to resign as the church’s
pastor despite some members insisting on his resignation.

But according to the New York Post,
New York Judge Gilbert Hong dismissed the nine counts of petit larceny
against Impaglia, who was formally charged with stealing $238 from the
church.

Subsequently, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office dropped the case because it could not be “proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” that Impaglia is guilty of stealing.

In
January, Impaglia’s lawyer, Joseph Indusi, claimed in court that
Impaglia routinely took the money as petty cash to pay for
church-related expenses and repairs to the aging church building, where
Impaglia also lived. Indusi further argued that the accusations of theft
are an “outrage.”

Indusi asserted that the accusations are just a sign of “desperation” from the members of the church that want Impaglia gone.

“He took money to buy light bulbs and Sunday school supplies for the congregation,” Indusi was quoted as saying.
Impaglia told the Daily News that he had a receipt for everything that he purchased with the money.
“For every expenditure, I have a receipt which I presented,” Impaglia said. “Children’s education, maintenance, light bulbs.”
“I
would fix doorknobs,” Impaglia added. “It’s an old building I was doing
the purchases — I live in the building, these were things that needed
to be done.”
A prosecutor had previously said in court that
Impaglia told a police officer after his arrest that the church “don’t
pay me enough.”

“I have no access to any funds but my salary paycheck I get once a week,” Impaglia was quoted as telling the police officer.

Although
Impaglia maintains that he only took the money to pay for repairs to
the church and for Sunday School expenses, the congregants criminal
complaint against him states that some of the offerings he took were
designated by church by-laws to be used only for the church’s missionary
fund.
One of the congregants who opposes Impaglia, Solomon Milliner, attended the court hearing and told the Daily News that he believes that Impaglia is lying about the receipts and the repairs to the building.

“We
have a custodian that does that,” Milliner said. “Eduardo — he works at
the church. That’s his job to do these things.”Even though Impaglia was
only criminally charged with taking $238, an affidavit filed in the
civil case against him accuses him of of either stealing or misusing
over $8,000, according to the New York Post.

“I’m outraged, I’m disgusted, we had visual truth,” congregant Sue Cruz told the New York Post. “He’s a monster and anyone who gets to know him will know that.”

“He’s not off the hook,” she added. “God is a just judge and he is going to receive the justice of God.”

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