SNOW HILL — A local woman is awaiting her fate pending a pre-sentence investigation this week after entering a plea to multiple counts of theft and embezzlement from an Ocean City church where she worked.
Teresa Kolacz, 51, of Berlin, was charged in July with embezzlement and theft after an investigation revealed she allegedly absconded with over $100,000 from the St. George Green Orthodox Church in Ocean City over a two-year period dating back to April 2016. Last week, Kolacz entered an Alford plea to theft over $100,000. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case.
Kolacz also entered guilty pleas to embezzlement and forgery. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and sentencing has been set for February 1. Last month, Kolacz was ordered to pay $81,257 in restitution to the church at the conclusion of a civil suit filed against her by the victim.
On May 15, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the St. George Greek Orthodox Church at 88th Street for a reported theft scheme that had been going on for several months. OCPD officers met with church officials along with a suspect, identified as. Kolacz, who was an employee of the church.
After a thorough investigation, with assistance from the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office and church officials, OCPD detectives determined Kolacz had allegedly stolen over $100,000 in theft scheme dating back to April 2016.
A warrant was issued for Kolacz’s arrest on July 16 and she turned herself in to detectives the next day at the Public Safety Building.