Man Accused of Embezzling $400,000 Intended for West Michigan Church

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CLIFFORD LAZARUS BOOKINGIONIA COUNTY, Mich. (June 5, 2014) — An 80-year-old Ionia County man has been accused of embezzling more than $400,000 that officials believe his deceased girlfriend intended to leave to her church.

According to the Ionia County Sheriff’s Department, Clifford Lazarus was arraigned in late April on a felony count of embezzlement, $100,000 or more.

He is currently out of jail on a $10,000 bond.

Deputies said that the St. John Lutheran Church in Ionia filed a complaint that they did not receive money that Lazarus’ girlfriend intended for them after her death in 2011.

Lazarus was the trustee for her estate, and nearly $200,000 is still unaccounted for, officials said.


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