Hanover pastor charged with felony embezzlement

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Chris Allen Phillips (PHOTO: Hanover Sheriff's Office)

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A Hanover County pastor has been arrested and charged with embezzling $80,000 from his own church.

The Hanover County Sheriff’s office confirmed to CBS 6 that Chris Allen Phillips, a pastor at the Mechanicsville Advent Christian Church, was arrested and charged with felony embezzlement.

Additionally, the Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that Phillips, 50, has been linked to the arrest of Tonya Farnsworth. Their investigation alleges that some of the money Phillips embezzled was used to cover up a sex scandal involving Farnsworth. They report that court documents allege Phillips paid Farnsworth $200 for oral sex last December.

An elder of the church told the Times-Dispatch that Phillips has gone on leave without pay as the church’s youth pastor, but denied further comments. Hanover authorities say that an investigation is still ongoing.