A popular local church was the site of a robbery earlier this month. Lakewood Church, the congregation of which is led by Pastor Joel Osteen, was the site of the crime. According to the Houston Police Department, a total of $600,000 made up of checks and cash, was removed from a safe at the church. In addition, credit card information that was written down and placed in envelopes for donation at a service the previous weekend was also taken. Though the matter is currently under investigation, at this point there isn’t any information regarding suspects.

If someone is arrested for the theft they could face multiple charges. Depending on what, if anything is done with the credit card numbers that were stolen, it is possible that in addition to theft that individual could face white collar charges related to credit card fraud. If found guilty of any type of theft charge, it is possible that the accused could face a variety of consequences including: prison time, fines or probation. In addition, one’s life could be affected far into the future with the existence of a criminal record.

In any situation where criminal charges have been leveled, there are multiple ways in which the matter could be resolved. While sometimes negotiation can lead to lesser charges or consequences, other times the best course of action is to take a case to trial. In either situation, having someone on your side who understands how the criminal justice system works, is usually a good idea.

Source: Houston Chronicle, “$600K stolen from Lakewood Church,” Craig Hlavaty, March 11, 2014