National Catholic Reporter

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Church fraud in Denver and Cleveland

 |  NCR Today

With so much church fraud going on in the U.S. Catholic church, it's sometimes hard to keep track of the stories. Now we have two church employee fraud cases announced at the same time.

Starting in the Archdiocese of Denver:

"A 58-year-old former Catholic [arch]Diocese of Denver employee was charged today with felony theft on accusations she diverted more than $391,000 meant for The Denver Foundation's "Concerns for Others Fund."

Ruth Gonzales, most recently the Archidioceasan Housing construction director after a 21-year career with the diocese, is free on $10,000 bond.

In an interview with an investigator, Gonzales admitted to the scheme and said she had spent all the money she had taken."

Now moving eastward to Cleveland:

Read our new blog series, La Iglesia Hispana, focusing on Hispanic Catholics, the church's new emerging majority.

"A Cleveland Catholic Diocese worker is under investigation for taking several hundred thousands of dollars.

Bob Tayek, spokesman for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, said that Deacon Larry Cermak is no longer employed at St. Peter and Paul and St. Terese churches in Garfield Heights.

Cermak was the bookkeeper.

The missing funds were discovered during an audit.

The incident is under investigation by both Garfield Heights Police Department and the Cleveland Catholic Diocese."



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