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Former Church Employee Sentenced for Theft from Parish

STROUDSBURG -- A woman learned her punishment for stealing from the church where she worked in Monroe County.

The Diocese of Scranton says Dawn Stevens was the bookkeeper of St. Luke’s Parish in Stroudsburg for 17 years when she was caught in 2015.

In a written statement, the Diocese of Scranton said Dawn Stevens was sentenced to one year of house arrest for taking more than $1.5 million from St. Luke's parish in Stroudsburg.

The statement also said that Stevens had been ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution.

Newswatch 16 has obtained court papers that tell a much different story.

Dawn Stevens of Reeders was the bookkeeper at St. Luke's in Stroudsburg for years. Earlier this week, a Monroe County judge sentenced Stevens to one year of house arrest, four years of probation and community service for stealing money from the church in the spring of 2015.

In a written statement, the Diocese of Scranton said Stevens was sentenced for taking more than $1.5 million from the church over nine years.

But according to the prosecuting attorney, Stevens was only caught with and admitted to taking $5,000.

Investigators say they suspect that Stevens stole a lot more.

According to the sentencing order, Stevens must pay $27,000 in restitution to St. Luke's -- $250 a month during her year on electronic monitoring and $500 a month while she's on probation.

As a specific condition of this sentence, the judge ordered that Stevens, "shall not engage in any gaming or gambling whether on site or via the internet or any other electronic means."

Stevens' sentence of house arrest and probation was based on her guilty plea to taking $5,000 from St. Luke's.

This is an updated version of the story. A previous version contained incomplete information.

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