A former secretary of the St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church is accused of swindling thousands of dollars from the Luray church over a six-year period.
Ellen Housden Fields, 51, of Luray, faces 44 indictments alleging a string of embezzlements that occurred between 2008 and 2014.
The Page County Public Schools employee was indicted Monday by a Page County Grand Jury on 44 separate counts of felony embezzlement of amounts exceeding $200.
Each offense is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Fields, a Page County native, began working for the local school system more than two decades ago in 1993, as an accounts payable clerk. She held the position until 2007, when she was promoted to clerk of the local school board, a position she currently holds, along with the position of director of transportation.
“Due to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation by the Luray Police Department, I cannot comment at this time,” said Page County Commonwealth's Attorney Ken Alger.
The pastor of St. Mark's, R. Nicholas Eichelberger, could not be reached for comment.
Fields was freed on bond pending a July 28 hearing.