SANTA ANA ( — Authorities say a Lake Elsinore man has been sentenced to one year in jail after pleading guilty to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a Santa Ana church.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office said in a statement that Fiatala Manu pleaded guilty to several charges, including but not limited to, embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, money laundering and falsifying records.

The 47-year-old Manu was both a member and the interim treasurer of First Samoan Christian Congregational Church between October 2011 and August 2012.

It was then that authorities say Manu embezzled about $113,000 from the church’s bank accounts.

“The defendant attended monthly church meetings and reported false financial reports, which included reporting false balance and funds in the church bank accounts,” the statement said.

Manu was arrested on July 29, 2013, after a discrepancy in funds was reported to police.

As part of his sentencing, he also faces two years of mandatory supervision and was ordered to pay over $113,000 in restitution.


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