Catholic World News

Italian priest, charity leader charged with stealing funds destined for immigrants

May 16, 2017

Police in Italy have arrested 68 people—including a Catholic priest and the head of a Catholic charitable agency—in a crackdown on what prosecutors describe as a bid by organized crime to siphon off funds that were allocated to immigrants.

Prosecutors said that an organized-crime family, the notorious ‘Ndrangheta, had gained control of the distribution of funds to immigrants in a center for immigrants in Isola di Capo Rizzuto. The center for immigrants and a charitable agency known as “Mercy” had become “ATMs for the mafia,” said a police spokesman.

Leonardo Sacco, the head of Mercy, was arrested, as was Father Edoardo Scordio, a priest connected with the agency. Police charged that Father Scordio had received €132,000 ($146,000) for himself, while acting as “the organizer of a true system of exploitation of public funds destined for the migrant emergency.”

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  • Posted by: Jim.K - May. 16, 2017 6:57 PM ET USA

    What a shame -- if accurate.