84 year-old man accused of embezzling thousands from Farmington Hills church

Edgar Zarins allegedly embezzled $167,000

By Jamie Edmonds - Reporter , Dane Kelly - Intern

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - Edgar Zarins was arraigned in court Thursday for allegedly embezzling $167,000 from St. Paul's Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The 84 year-old church treasurer pleaded not guilty, which was surprising to the church's board members. 

"We had an audit and discovered things were not right," said church board member Mara Bitte. "He's pleading that he's not guilty, but he wrote a letter stating that he did it. What he's doing is playing a game."

He embezzled an estimated $167,000 in funds, but it's hard to tell the exact amount since it came from donations. The small church has about 100 members and is currently only staying active due to donations. 

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