Catholic World News News Feature
Ohio diocesan official charged with fraud August 17, 2006
The former top financial officer for the Cleveland, Ohio diocese has been indicted on 23 charges, including fraud, money-laundering, and tax evasion.
Joseph Smith resigned his post at the Cleveland diocese in 2004, as prosecutors began an investigation into financial irregularities there. Yet remarkably, he was hired by the nearby Columbus, Ohio diocese to fill a finance post there.
Smith is charged with orchestrating a kickback scheme in which he allegedly steered diocesan business to an associate and received $784,000 in kickbacks.
The Cleveland diocese has issued a statement saying that officials hope for "a just resolution" of the charges against Smith. The Columbus diocese, where he is now employed, had no comment.