The wife of a prominent Dartmouth College computer researcher has been charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a California church.

Lean Granger, 45, was arrested March 27 in Hanover, where she lives with her husband, Richard Granger Jr. She was charged the same day by California authorities with forgery and theft over five years from a church in Newport Beach, Calif., where she was the bookkeeper and office manager before the couple moved east in 2006.

The church discovered after she left that $320,000 was missing, said Yvette Patko, spokeswoman for the Orange County (Calif.) District Attorney's office.

Lean Granger is listed as Cheryl Lean Granger in court records in California, where she was returned during the weekend. Her lawyers in New Hampshire and California did not immediately return calls Monday afternoon, when Granger was due to be arraigned in Newport Beach.

Richard Granger, a former professor at the University of California, Irving, came to Dartmouth in 2006 as the first director of the Neukom Institute of Computational Science at the Ivy League school and a professor of psychological and brain sciences.

He was away Monday and did not immediately return a message left for him.

Dartmouth spokeswoman Sue Knapp declined to say whether Dartmouth officials were aware of the case before Monday.

"The college is distressed to hear about this and our thoughts are with the family," she said.

She said Lean Granger has no affiliation with Dartmouth.

James Miller fielded questions Monday for the Newport Harbor Lutheran Church in Newport Beach.

"We're gravely disappointed," Miller said. "We trusted somebody and we don't really have the resources to have lost."

The church went to authorities in late 2006, said Sgt. Evan Sailor of the Newport Beach police.

"It looks like basically what she was doing was forging checks to herself, her husband and their business," Sailor said.

Yvette Patko of the Orange County District Attorney's office declined to comment on whether Richard Granger was under investigation.