Ex-Harvest Bible employee 'remorseful,' agrees to repay $100K in lawsuit settlement
A former Harvest Bible Chapel employee has agreed to a five-year repayment schedule of $100,000 he was accused in a lawsuit of embezzling.
Jeffrey Lee Parham Jr., 38, of Elgin reached an agreement last month with The Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., which filed the lawsuit seeking repayment of money it argued was stolen from the Harvest Elgin campus.
According to Kane County court records, the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice this week by Judge James Murphy. If Parham is five days late on a payment, the suit can be reinstated and a judgment entered against him, records show.
Parham has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing in the case.
Records show Parham did not hire an attorney and acted as his own lawyer in the lawsuit against him. Steven Gertler, an attorney for the insurance company, said Parham was "cooperative."
"This guy was really easy to work with. He seemed to be really remorseful," Gertler said.
In the lawsuit, the insurance company argued that in 2017 and 2018, Parham "maliciously embezzled, misappropriated, stole or otherwise diverted money" for his own use.
The church was insured for $100,000 in losses and received a payout of $99,000, according to the lawsuit. The church has previously stated it suspects nearly $300,000 was stolen.
The church reported the matter to Elgin police in October 2018. Police spokeswoman Kristie Hilton said the investigation is ongoing.
Efforts to reach Parham were unsuccessful; no one answered the door at his Elgin house Thursday afternoon.
Under the agreement, Parham will repay the money with 5% interest, beginning in September with a $500 payment. He must pay $600 in October, November and December and $1,000 a month in 2020, according to court records.
In 2021, the monthly payments are $1,500, then increase to $2,100 per month in 2022 and $2,400 a month in 2023.
For the final year, Parham must pay $2,500 each month, with the final payment due in December 2024.