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Separate thefts of $2 million from New York, Philadelphia archdioceses charged

Catholic World News - January 30, 2012

In two unrelated developments within days, employees of both the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and New York have each been charged with taking about $1 million from the Church.

In Philadelphia, prosecutors believe that Anita Guzzardi, formerly the chief financial officer of the archdiocese, may have taken $1 million fraudulently. Investigators allege that she had been dipping into archdiocesan funds for several years before a credit-card company noticed the unusual spending. Guzzardi was dismissed from her archdiocesan post last July.

In New York, archdiocesan officials told prosecutors that they believed Anita Collins, a former archdiocesan employee, had taken at least $350,000 and probably more than $1 million. Collins had worked in the archdiocesan finance office from 2003 until December 2011, when she was dismissed after the alleged fraud was discovered. Collins was hired by the archdiocese despite a 1999 conviction for grand larceny, which she did not disclose in her application.

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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Jan. 31, 2012 12:38 PM ET USA

    Yes,mamatoo,unbelievable that background check wasn't done on Collins.

  • Posted by: mamato085337 - Jan. 31, 2012 9:20 AM ET USA

    Unbelievable that this huge organization doesn't run criminal checks when a person is hired to handle money! Seems like a good sweep is needed all-around the board with this Archdiocese. Didn't Jesus warn us not to be stupid? Stop being gullible, dear Folk who run the Archdiocese!

  • Posted by: molly - Jan. 30, 2012 9:15 PM ET USA

    And the pennies of Irish maids built St. Patrick's cathedral. Did those pennies go into hands grasping employees? Who knows, but I want to think not.This makes me sick to think of the money people who are barely getting by give to their parish and the Bishops cannot oversee this? Sweetest Lord, can't the hierarchy do a better job? Or are there too many fundraising functions to attend to see where the money goes?

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