Man to plead for stealing $500,000 from church in Georgetown KY

A Georgetown man who worked as a treasurer for a local church in Scott County accepted a plea deal in federal court after being convicted of stealing more than $500,000, court records show.

According to court documents, Ralph Tackett stole $512,042 from the church and used the funds for his personal gain for nearly four years. A charge was filed against him in federal court on Monday, along with a plea agreement he previously signed. Federal prosecutors indicated last month that they plan to indict him.

Tackett served as the church’s treasurer and was responsible for their financial affairs, including approving and processing payments, managing mortgage payments, depositing cash offerings, and overseeing the church’s bank accounts, according to court records.

Court documents say Tackett routinely transferred funds to an out-of-state individual, “who made financial demands on him,” in small amounts totaling $325,000. The transactions took place from December 2015 to July 2019. Additionally, he transferred approximately $187,356 to pay off his own personal credit card debt in increments of $1,000 or less.

He routinely issued church checks payable to his wife without her knowledge and cashed and deposited them into his own personal and business accounts, court records show.

Tackett wired some of the money to the church’s WesBanco checking account on his personal American Express credit card, court records show.

Tackett would then create monthly reports for the church’s operating account and provide them to the pastor that contained material misrepresentations about the flow of money in and out of the account, according to court records. He also omitted material facts about the authorized transfers he made.

He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or double the gross gain or loss, as well as a probation sentence of up to three years.

Tackett’s attorney was not immediately available for comment Monday afternoon.

Taylor Six is ​​the criminal justice reporter at the Herald-Leader. She was born and raised in Lexington at Lafayette High School. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 2018 with a degree in journalism. She previously worked as a government reporter for the Richmond Register.

Jerry B. Hatch