Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Prison Term for Former Minister on Theft, Forgery Charges
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the sentencing of Richard Bridges, of Bowling Green, on felony theft and forgery charges in connection with a long-term embezzlement scheme perpetrated against a Simpson County Church.
After a lengthy hearing, Bridges was sentenced today in Simpson Circuit Court to prosecutors’ recommended sentence of five years in prison. Special Judge Tom Castlen rejected probation for Bridges. The court found that prosecutors had demonstrated that Bridges’ theft amounted to about $50,000, and that none of the money had been returned to the church. The court has ordered payment of that amount in restitution, together with fines and court costs.
Bridges, 65, entered an "Alford" plea in Simpson Circuit Court on May 22 to two counts of theft over $300, two counts of forgery in the 2nd degree and one count of unlawful use of a credit card over $100. By entering the "Alford" plea, Bridges maintained his innocence, but admitted the evidence against him would likely result in a conviction.
The case was investigated by Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement Special Investigations, West Division, based in Bowling Green. The attorney general’s Office of Special Prosecutions prosecuted the case.
"The defendant was in a position of trust and used it to betray his congregation and the community," said General Conway. "I appreciate the hard work of the state agencies involved and the cooperation of church members in bringing this individual to justice."