01STOCK_COURTHOUSE_ROCKCOUNTY2

JANESVILLE

A Beloit woman who worked as a church secretary in Janesville is accused of diverting church money to pay her rent.

Michelle R. Lomax, 50, of 1111 Burton St., No. 4, was charged this week in Rock County Court with felony theft in a business setting.

According to the criminal complaint, Lomax had worked for First Christian Church, 1909 Highland Ave., for about 10 years. Among her duties was to issue checks to pay the church’s bills.

The church treasurer noticed a $1.95 charge from Yardi Payment Portal occurring six times from October to April and discovered the fee was charged to transfer money from the church’s bank account to Premier Real Estate, which owns the building where Lomax lives, according to the complaint.

Premier Real Estate had received $5,023, and the church incurred $152 in overdraft fees, the complaint states.

The church fired Lomax on May 14, and she admitted to police she had transferred the money and tried to conceal the payments with fake billings from an insurance company, according to the complaint.

Lomax was released on a signature bond after her initial court appearance Monday.