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.


  • Jammie87

    This is typical of the lenient treatment and give it all away plea bargaining from the prosecutors.
    She should be in jail, not enjoying the comforts of home.

  • Jammie87

    This is typical of the way the DA office plea bargains the serious stuff away.
    No consequences for criminal behavior in Monroe.
    The lady will never pay it back and is probably laughing at the system as she plays on the internet, watches netflix when she should be in jail.


    I think it would be great if she could do a year in prison of Richard Klinger’s sentence.He’d still serve his life sentence. Her sentence really upsets me. She gets to do a year in her new house, thanks to all the parishioners, buying anything she desires on the internet. I’m sure she has a lot of bucks in someone else’s bank account. For my second DUI, I had to spend 90 days in jail, my VA disability taken away, then 9 months of house arrest on my parents’ sofa, still have 2 years left to do of my 4 year probation. I’m a permanent, totally disabled service connected disabled veteran, various mental disorders, and what did I get? I received a way harsher sentence (jailtime) for a way lesser crime, living on a fixed income, not a millionare’s. I wish she could help me with a downpayment on a house. Just kidding. Where is the money? She should be made to come up with at least a half mil or get jailed, na, pay and still go to Muncy.

  • Practice safe praying at home

    Close all churches. If you all believe in the man upstairs, you can stay at home for no money or donations involved. There are actually 3 suspects here. The church itself, the goers, and the thief.

    • 🤗

      Actually, it’s biblical to tithe and give an offering. Tithing is giving 10%of your earnings plus an offering. The money you give to the church is supposed to be used to help the poor and such but unfortunately a lot of times ( more times than not) it’s not. Very sad!!

      • 🤗

        I don’t believe God would tell you not to give Me. Pibbles only for the simple fact that God would not go against his own word. That is one thing he told us to do. He would not hold you accountable if your money got stolen. It would be the ones handling the money that would be held accountable. I’m not trying to be a jerk I’m only trying to help you because by tithing you are doing what he wants you to do. I hope it gets straightened out for you. May God bless you and your family.

      • 🤗

        Well, I disagree because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If He goes against what He says, it makes him a liar and God is not one that would lie. God bless you .

  • mopar driver

    House arrest – what a shameful judge . giving privilege to a self absorbed thief with no sentence for something beyond a serious crime . But the county gets money for “house arrest ” and those robbed get shafted . This home needed sold and the scum Dawn Stevens needs in jail with her kindred spirits .

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Watch her hit the lottery! Haha.

    That judge needs to be replaced. No jailtime?

    Bank robbers get away with much less than that and can get life sentences!

    Nothing just about the justice system.

    I guess if she makes payments to the church of $10 a week, she’ll get it paid off. HAHAHAHA.

    • #CrimePays

      Unfortunately, a person can file Federal Bankruptcy and have this debt forgiven. Yeah, they can. And, yeah, it’s INSANE. They can have THIS debt forgiven, but they can’t have a Federal Student Loan forgiven. LMAO!!!!!

  • jim

    She ought to work it off in plain view of the public with a sign “I am a thief”.
    And what about this judge, what kind of sentence is this. This doesn’t past the smell test.

  • 🤗

    She’s the one who has to answer to God on judgement day and say why she took His money. I wouldn’t want to be her. God has a way of dealing with people and believe me, he will deal with her for that.

      • 🤗

        No God does not need money but everything on this Earth is his. And he has us do what he wants even when it comes to money. If it weren’t for God, we’d all have nothing . He is our provider. We all think it’s us but it’s not He is the one that blesses us each and every day.

    • Practice safe praying at home

      Everything on earth is “His”? Is that what the human book tells you and is “he” even real. What if Jesus was a facade? Then your government is god. So “their” earth, right?

  • John Williams

    Restitution is the cake walk-Lucifer is going to make her a cashier at a McDonalds in Filthadelphia on the graveyard shift with the crack heads, so she’ll be handing the money of he!! !!!!!!


    She received a year of house arrest and four years of probation for stealing 1.5 million from a church. I received three months in jail, 6 months house arrest, and four years three months of probation for my second D.U.I. I am a Disabled Veteran for service connected bipolar and anxiety disorders and I had temporarily ran out of and was awaiting my medications at the time of my arrest in 2014. Very different charges that received very similar sentences and I was just surviving month to month from my VA check, no extra 1.5 million in my pocket.

  • #CrimePays

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Must remember this – Scranton is “The Place” where theft and fraud are acceptable.

    Pay back money? Right. How is this person going to “pay back” anything? LMAO!!!!!! Omigosh, this is just outrageous……..disbar the judge.

  • You must be joking!

    Is there an opening for a crooked bookkeeper in this church? One year of house arrest ( the place where all my stuff is!) for steeling $1.5 million! Where do I get an application for this job?

  • Laura Lambert

    I can’t believe that a woman gets told 1.5 million dollars gets a year house arrest and four years probation? She’ll never be able to pay back 2 million dollars in her lifetime. She should have done some hardcore prison time. This sends a good message to bad people that it’s okay to steal.

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