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Woman convicted in 1997 of Molalla embezzlement now accused of embezzling church funds

MULTONOMAH COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - Christine Culver, who embezzled $225,000 from the city of Molalla while serving as the city finance director has now been arrested on charges of embezzling $70,000 from a Portland Church. A former city of Molalla finance director who in 1997 was convicted of embezzling $225,000 from the city was arrested June 28 on charges of embezzling $70,000 from a Portland church.

Christine Marie Culver, of Canby, faces a 29-count indictment that alleges four counts of aggravated first-degree theft, two counts of first-degree theft, 16 counts of ID theft, three counts of falsifying business records and three counts of felony computer crime.

Culver, who also uses the alias Christine Meade, entered a plea of not guilty to all charges and has been released from Multnomah County jail on a $197,500 bond.

Culver worked as a bookkeeper for the Metropolitan Community Church in Portland, where she was employed for the last 12 years. She is accused of padding her paycheck by issuing herself unauthorized funds.

Culver has a history of felony convictions, all finance-related crimes.

Records show that in May 1997, she pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated theft, forgery and official misconduct for embezzling $225,000 from the city of Molalla between 1991 and 1996. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to re-pay the money.

Police said that Culver carried out her embezzlement at the city by writing improper city checks to herself and by taking cash from funds available to her as the financial director.

Culver has family in the Canby area and has been living with them for about a year-and-a-half.

According to court documents, she suffers from depression and lists her income as between $1,001-$2,000 per month. The documents state that she has been unemployed since October 2015 and receives $1,257 a month in Social Security payments.

Court records show Culver turned herself in to face the current charges.

A settlement conference has been scheduled with Judicial Officer Gregory Siler on Sept. 8 at 4 p.m. in Multnomah County circuit court.