Employee swindles $1.9 million from Catholic Charities organization

An investigation is ongoing
Posted at 3:30 PM, Dec 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 13:47:48-05

A single employee swindled one of the largest Catholic Charities organizations in the nation out of nearly $2 million dollars since 2009. 

Officials noticed the fraud scheme through irregularities in financial documents. Bob Tayek, a communications director with the organization, said the veteran employee was terminated and a report has been filed with area law enforcement agencies. 

The organization hired an outside forensic financial firm when they discovered the theft, Tayek said. The firm is still investigating the extent of the fraud.

The approximately $1.9 million siphoned from the charity was taken from funds meant to reimburse outside services, which Tayek said the employee was in charge of. That amount of money represents only 3 percent of total revenue handled by the satellite office in the past seven years. 

He made it clear the funds generated through the Catholic Charities Annual Appeal were not touched. The church annually asks the congregation in February to donate money to the charity. 

The organization was able to recoup all the lost funds through their insurance police, Tayek said. 

The Cleveland Catholic Charities Corporation serves over 400,000 people per year through 60 different outlets, Tayek said, making it one of the largest Catholic charity corporations in the country.

The Cleveland Diocese covers eight counties: Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne. There are over 700,000 members in the eight county area.