Police investigating funds missing from Rochester parish
Rochester police are investigating the disappearance -- over a period of several years -- of hundreds of thousands of dollars from St. Monica Church in Rochester, according to Sgt. Elena Correia, public information officer with the Rochester Police Department.
Details are still sketchy, according to Sgt. Correia, because the investigation is in its early stages. Investigators from the RPD’s new Economic Crimes Unit, which is several months old, have been sifting through hundreds of pages of documents and are awaiting additional information, she said.
"Investigations such as these do take a while because there’s just so much paperwork to go through," Sgt. Correia said.
According to a statement released Sept. 9 by the Diocese of Rochester, Father Raymond Fleming, St. Monica's pastor, informed parishioners on the weekend of Aug. 24-25 that the parish had discovered "what appears to be a misappropriation of a substantial amount of money from our parish. The matter was referred to the Rochester Police Department for investigation and we are cooperating fully with the authorities." The diocese referred additional questions to the Rochester Police Department.
Father Fleming also asked parishioners to pray for a quick resolution, the diocesan statement said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Reports of concerns of financial fraud and financial abuse at the diocesan Pastoral Center, parishes, schools and/or agencies can be made anonymously by calling 585-328-3228, ext. 1266 (or toll free 1-800-388-7177, ext. 1266), or by writing: Internal Audit Department, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, 1150 Buffalo Road, Rochester, NY 14624.