SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A San Antonio woman is headed to prison for stealing from the Windcrest church she worked for over five years.
Lavelle Wilson Ruvader was sentenced to 7 years in prison earlier this month for stealing approximately $667,542 from the New Creation Christian Fellowship from 2014 to 2019.
Ruvader reportedly worked at New Creation Christian Fellowship for more than 30 years and was serving as an executive assistant to a bishop at the church over the course of the embezzlement.
The money was discovered stolen after an internal review of finances was done by the church, according to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office. Officials said the church had to obtain financial records from the bank because Ruvader would not turn over the documents to the internal review committee.
“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.
According to the DA’s Office, Ruvader spend the money on personal trips that include a vacation to Hawaii, shopping sprees, dining at upscale restaurants, fast food, personal loan payments and personal cell phone payments in addition to cash withdrawals.
Ruvader was arrested and indicted on charges of theft more than $300,000 in February of last year.