retiree stole $42,000 from church to spend on porn and dating websites

Lonely retiree steals more than $42,000 from church funds and then spends it all on porn and dating sites.

67-year-old Ian Muschamp abused his position as a book-keeper at St Helen’s Road Methodist Church in Greater Manchester, by stealing funds.

According to court documents, Ian forged checks for more than two years so he could withdraw money from the church account.

After forging the checks, he would then take them to parishioners for signing, claiming they were for ‘legitimate expenses.’

retiree stole $42,000 from church to spend on porn and dating websites
retiree stole $42,000 from church to spend on porn and dating websites

A female churchgoer revealed Ian had also forged her signature. The woman added his actions left her ‘upset’ because the two had been friends for a while.

She said:

Ian was a friend and someone I thought I could trust.

The retiree committed these offenses between March 2017 and October 2019 before his crimes came to light.

Prosecutors said an auditor uncovered the financial irregularities and then sent an email, alerting the church’s minister.

Confessing to the crime, Ian told cops that the cash allowed him to ‘speak to women on adult websites.’

However, one of them turned out to be a male posing as a woman by the name ‘Jessica,’ who then scammed most of the money.

The church’s minister said Ian’s theft caused ‘a lot of problems’ as they had to put plans for future buildings on hold.

retiree stole $42,000 from church to spend on porn and dating websites

Defending Ian’s action, his attorney said ‘Ian made an ill-judged decision’ due to suffering from ‘social isolation and loneliness.’

He added:

He was himself duped by a man calling himself Jessica and was exposed to vulnerability and fraud.

My client is a lonely man of modest financial means who has been caught up in an unsavory matter.

The lawyer also said his client is suffering from bladder cancer.

Sentencing Ian, judge Paul Taylor said:

There is a saying ‘there is no fool like an old fool,’ and you are living proof of that.

You were tricked by ‘Jessica,’ who was, in fact, a man. He’s now under investigation for telling sob stories.

Ian received a 16-month prison sentence, a suspension for two years, and a six-month curfew.

In another similar incident, a crooked priest stole nearly $100,000 in church donations to pay men he met on Grindr for sex.

Reverend Joseph McLoone, of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, funneled donations parishioners made to fund his sleazy habit for more than six years.

Commenting on the crime, Chester County district attorney chief of staff Charles Gaz said in a statement:

Father McLoone held a leadership position, and his parishioners trusted him to properly handle their generous donations to the church.

However, he violated the trust of the members of the church for his own personal gain.