Authorities: Harvest Bible Chapel employee stole $262,000 from Elgin campus
A 38-year-old Elgin man has been charged with stealing $262,000 over 15 months from the Harvest Bible Chapel in Elgin, prosecutors said Friday.
Jeffery L. Parham, of the 3100 block of Kyra Lane, faces four counts of felony theft, the most severe of which carries a sentence of six to 30 years in prison with no possibility of probation, according to Kane County prosecutors.
Parham, who is on leave from the church, was arrested Thursday in Bourbonnais and taken to the Elgin Police Department, where he posted 10% of his $50,000 bail and was released.
According to prosecutors, church officials notified Elgin police in October 2018 when they discovered "bookkeeping irregularities." Authorities determined that two church credit cards had been used for $262,056.88 in expenses between July 2017 and October 2018, according to prosecutors.
The charges were not for church business, prosecutors said.
A message left for Greg Bradshaw, Harvest Bible Chapel's lead ministry pastor, was not immediately returned. Parham, according to prosecutors, has been on leave from Harvest since October 2018.
Last month, Elgin police issued a blanket denial of a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information about the investigation into Parham.
Last fall, Parham settled a lawsuit filed by an insurance company representing Harvest that was seeking repayment of the funds in question.
Parham, according to court records, acted as his own attorney, admitted to the theft and agreed with the Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company to repay $100,000, plus interest, by 2024's end.
An attorney representing the insurance company later told the Daily Herald that Parham was "cooperative."
"This guy was really easy to work with. He seemed to be really remorseful," attorney Steven Gertler said.
Parham is next due in court on the theft charges April 3.
The Copper Springs Duplex Homeowners Association filed an eviction lawsuit against Parham on Feb. 20; that matter is due in court Wednesday, records show.