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Former church worker accused of stealing church money

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A woman is accused of going on a spending spree with an Orange County church's credit card, and even using some of that money to pay her own bills.

Investigators said it went on for more than a year.

Andy Searles, associate pastor at Aloma United Methodist Church, said it wasn't easy to turn in a worker at his church, but he knew it was the right thing to do.

"We try to love and support those we can, but at the same time a crime was committed and we have a responsibility to our church members and congregation," said Searles.

Veronica Quiroz was an accountant at the church until June, when she was fired for poor performance, according to reports.

After she was gone, leaders checked the books and discovered the missing money.

Arrest papers say the former accountant was using the church's credit card to buy personal things.  She's also accused of transferring some of the church's money into her own personal bank account.

Deputies said she made more than 40 purchases totaling around $13,000.

"The church, we view the money that's given to us as a sacred trust.  It's not given to us, it's given to God," said Searles.

Church leaders said their accounting department now has tighter security measures.

"It's a hurting world and there is a great deal of need, and some people just get caught up in that," said Searles.

The suspect was booked into jail but has been released.

When WFTV's Ryan Hughes reached her by phone she refused to speak about the issue.