Church's Pastor, Wife and Treasurer Arrested on Theft Charges

By Alexis Huicochea
Arizona Daily Star [Tucson AZ]
March 16, 2007

The pastor of a church, his wife and the church treasurer were arrested on suspicion of theft last week after officials say they withdrew more than $100,000 from the church's bank account.

According to court documents filed Thursday, Jose C. Galvan, 37, served as pastor at the Iglesia De Dios Sinai since 2000 until he was told that he was being suspended from his position Feb. 22.

At that time Galvan decided to sever all ties with the Church of God denomination and told the governing board that he was entitled to all property acquired while he was pastor, the court documents state. He was told that he was not entitled to anything as he was nothing more than an employee.

However, Galvan still directed his wife, 52-year-old Maria Galvan, and the church treasurer, 27-year-old Cristella Iguado, to remove all of the funds — $111,115 — from a Chase bank account, the documents said.

On March 9, Pima County sheriff's deputies served a search warrant at the Galvan residence and found documents indicating that a new account had been opened at Wells Fargo and that the money was deposited there. That in turn lead deputies to seize the money as well, documents state.

All three were arrested on theft charges that day and were booked in to the Pima County jail. They were all released to Pima County Pretrial Services.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at 629-9412 or


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