Former Treasurer of Religious Conference Sentenced to Prison for Wire Fraud
PHOENIX—Today, Marie Ann Stoltz, 38, of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi to 21 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay $408,021 in restitution. Stoltz’s husband, Mark Edwin Stoltz, 44, of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced to 9 months of home confinement and also ordered to pay $408,821 in restitution. Both defendants previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Ms. Stoltz abused her position as the treasurer and secretary of the Arizona Light & Life Conference of the Free Methodist Church to fraudulently obtain over $423,000. In the course of the scheme, she drafted over $79,000 in Conference checks made payable to her spouse, many of which he endorsed, and also used the Conference’s credit cards for personal expenses. As a result of fraud, the Conference was forced to cease operations, another conference was required to assume the Conference’s responsibilities, and three Conference employees lost their jobs. As of sentencing, the Stoltzes had repaid $15,063 to the Conference.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Phoenix Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The prosecution was handled by Frederick A. Battista, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.