Former synagogue employee accused of stealing $60K

Leslie Bradner (Photo courtesy: Norfolk police)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A former employee at Temple Israel in Norfolk is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the synagogue.

Forty-one-year-old Leslie Bradner worked at the temple for 16 years. She was arrested in September after the money came up missing.

“I was shocked,” said temple member Jo Lisa Rosenblum.

Bradner severed as the temple’s executive director. She is accused of stealing almost $60,000.

“I can’t imagine anybody embezzling any money from anybody, especially a synagogue or a church,” Rosenblum added.

Temple staff sent out a letter to members dated October 12 from Temple President Cheryl Dronzek. She wrote “We discovered that some tax forms in previous years were filed late and in some cases not at all. Also, some payroll taxes were paid late and others were not paid at all.”

Brander left the temple at the end of February. An outside bookkeeper was brought in and they found the loss. Bradner was charged with embezzling. She has since been released on bond.

According to court records, police say the stealing started in June 2011 and ended when she left.

Bradner has since moved back home to Charlotte Couthouse in the western part of Virginia.

Temple Staff says it has now taken steps to update procedures and implement safeguards to prevent this from happening again.  They are hoping the money can be recovered.

Bradner will be back in court November 9.

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