Templeton woman sentenced to state prison for embezzlement
Author: District Attorney
1/14/2020 11:38:04 AM
Former bookkeeper Claire Eastin (51) of Templeton was taken into custody after being sentenced yesterday to serve two years, eight months in state prison for embezzling church funds.
District Attorney Dan Dow announced today that on January 13, 2020, Claire Eastin (DOB: 05/27/1968) a former bookkeeper for Life Community Church in Templeton, was sentenced to two years, eight months in state prison for embezzling church funds from January 2012 through April 2018. In September 2019 Ms. Eastin pled no contest to two counts of grand theft by embezzlement and admitted to a sentencing enhancement, which requires a prison commitment when the amount of theft exceeds $100,000. Ms. Eastin was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $177,577.
Members of the congregation present at the hearing spoke and expressed how Ms. Eastin’s theft and breach of trust had deeply impacted the church. They described her as being very involved in the church and were stunned to learn that she had been stealing for so many years.
“Churches are unique in what they offer our communities,” said District Attorney Dan Dow in response to the sentencing. “They provide a place for people to share their faith and serve the larger community. They work with our youth, assist the elderly, the homeless and serve in so many other ways that churches are uniquely equipped to do. A theft of this magnitude harms not only the church itself, but our community as a whole. It is important for Claire Eastin and others who violate a position of trust in this way to be held responsible.”
The sentence was imposed by San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen.
The case was investigated by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Frye.
A copy of the complaint can be accessed here. A copy of the defendant's booking photo can be found here.
Please contact Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret C. Gran at 805.781.5800 with any questions.