By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Douglas couple has been arrested and charged for allegedly embezzling more than $200,000 from a Glendo church in which they pastored.
Lynda and Martin “Marty” Roark both have been charged with misdemeanor and felony theft and each had preliminary hearings in Platte County Circuit Court on Tuesday, although it was not immediately clear if they submitted any plea.
According to the Platte County Record-Times, the couple was arrested as they arrived from a flight from Belize and then taken to the Colfax Detention Center in Denver.
According to court documents, the Roarks made unauthorized purchases with the Circle G Cowboy Church accounts between August 2015 and January 2022.
Two church officials made Platte County authorities aware that the Roarks had been misusing the accounts. They and another witness provided verbal statements and financial documents showing the Roarks were using funds for personal use.
After officials began investigating all of the bank accounts, they found nearly $210,000 had been stolen or misused by the Roarks.
According to court documents, the Roarks used some of the money to fund “several” trips to Belize, which one church member confirmed were not for missionary purposes.
On Lynda Roark’s Facebook page, she describes herself as a “Jesus lovin’ Mama/Gigi who happens to be married to my very best friend! I love Belize!”
Additionally, some of the funds were used to purchase Wyoming Game and Fish Department hunting or fishing licenses and “large” cash withdrawals.
Each of the Roarks posted $5,000 bond at the end of April and have been free since.
The couple has also pastored at Crossroads Baptist Church in Douglas, but none of their charges were related to their involvement at that church.