CAMARILLO : Church Officer Gets 2 1/3 Years for Stealing

A Camarillo church treasurer has been sentenced to two years and four months in prison on embezzlement charges after confessing that he had taken $600,000 from church building funds since 1975.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kenneth R. Yegan sentenced David Homer Lively, 59, on Friday to one year and four months for embezzlement and one year for a special allegation that he took more than $25,000 from the Western District of the Missionary Church.

Lively pleaded guilty to the charges in October.

The Moorpark-based Western District of the Missionary Church includes 40 churches and about 7,000 members throughout California and Arizona.


Lively said in an interview in October that he had personal debts of $100,000 from failed businesses when he took over the unpaid position of church district treasurer in 1974. Over the next few years, he said, he continued to take money out of the church accounts to shore up the businesses or open new ones and periodically put money back into the accounts.

But eventually the business losses overtook him, he said.

The embezzlement came to light after the church district supervisor received a bank notice about an account that he did not know the district had, an account that Lively had set up to hold the embezzled money, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Charles R. Roberts Sr.

Lively turned himself in to the district attorney’s office on Sept. 24 after confessing to church officials that he had been taking the church’s money for 15 years.