Saturday, June 7, 2008

Local cases behind decision to audit parishes

As reported by Tom Heinen in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it was a decade of embezzlements that prompted the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to resume financial audits of parishes.
The Catholic Mutual Group, which insures the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, paid $1,017,000 in parish embezzlement claims from 1997 through early 2008, according to the archdiocesan Parish and School Financial Services Office.

The Archdiocese knows of financial 19 parishes with "suspected financial theft or mismanagement by employees" during this period. Not all have been reported to the police. Reporting is at the pastor's discretion. If not reported, losses are not covered by insurance.

You might recall that regular audits had been Archdiocesan policy. They stopped in 2000 when "additional duties" were given to the Financial Services Office. (see this earlier post)

The article concludes with mentions of the largest theft, about $800,000 from Gesu Church, and of recent charges against an employee of St. Matthias Church.

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