Friday, June 24, 2005
We Three Kings Be Stealin' The Gold
What gets me is the "I am horrified at what I did to my church". No, you weren't, you sorry hypocritical nothing. You were sorry you got caught. If you were sorry for what you did, you wouldn't have done it to the tune of nearly three-quarters of a million dollars and then bought a big fuckin' house with it.
A Grosse Pointe Woods church treasurer and mother who pleaded no contest to looting at least $700,000 from her congregation's coffers asked for forgiveness -- and probation -- on Thursday.
She didn't get it.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny threw out the sentencing guidelines, which would have seen Janis Ferworn, 45, serve no more than nine months in prison, and hammered her with a five- to 10-year prison sentence.
Ferworn, the former treasurer of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Grosse Pointe Woods, maintained her composure as sheriff's deputies escorted her away immediately.
"Mrs. Ferworn would have done far less damage if she had taken a bulldozer and knocked down the walls of the church," Kenny said. "The reality is that from 1997 through January of 2005, Mrs. Ferworn was a thief of epic proportions."
Ferworn's lawyer, Gary Wilson, noted Thursday that she has five children, including two adopted children ages 9 and 11 and another child younger than 18. The other two are adults.
"But for the two" adopted "children, I couldn't ask for probation," Wilson said. He asked Kenny "to err on the side of grace and consider my client's children."
Unmoved, the judge said Ferworn signed adoption papers with one hand and fraudulent checks with the other.
"I am horrified at what I did to my church," Ferworn said. "I pray that Christ the King will someday forgive me for these repugnant crimes."
The theft wiped out a pension for the church's emeritus pastor and hurt a church reconstruction effort and day care funding, prosecutors said. Meanwhile, they claim she lived in a $500,000 home with an in-ground pool and vacationed at a time-share in Hilton Head, S.C.
"I'd love to live in a $500,000 house," Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Donaldson said. "I've been doing this a long time, and I can't remember a more egregious violation of trust."
Ferworn swore that she kept the embezzling from her husband, who has not been charged.
Kenny found it hard to believe Roger Ferworn didn't know.
"How could anyone live under the same roof and have $700,000 of tax-free income and not have clue No. 1 that something strange was going on?" the judge said.
The pastor, Randy Boelter, said the embezzlement might turn out to exceed $1.3 million.
"The cost in time and additional resources to ensure our mere survival has been staggering," he said. "While it took Janis Ferworn seven years to systematically drain our finances, it will take us twice as long to rebuild our ministry and restore what existed."
Where do these people come from!?
Which is why being sorry is not an excuse and shouldn't reduce her sentence. Sorry or not, she did it.
I just wish there were some punishment that would actually make her a better person, instead of simply locking her away where she can't embezzle anything.
The big thing is yes she stole and has served 5 years in prison. I think she has paid her time in jail. Hell now a days convicted sex offender get less time. Being Christian you should forgive her. That's Christs way and if not you are truly not a follower. Forgive but don't forget. She could be doing a lot mire good in society then wasting more of our tax dollars in prison.