56-year-old father Joseph Mcloone, was charged with felony theft and related crimes after diverting Parish funds into a secret account.
the Chester County District Attorney’s office says in a news release Father Mcloone held a position of leadership and his Parishioners trusted him to properly handle their generous donations to the church.
District Attorney Chief of Staff Charles Gaza says “Father Mcloone violated the trust of the members of St. Joseph’s for his own personal gain.”
Mcloone took over as Pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Downingtown in 2011 after Monsignor William Lynn, the first senior official convicted in the U.S. for covering up a sex abuse scandal, was indicted and incarcerated. That November, Mcloone opened a bank account named the “St. Joseph Activity Account” and, over the next 6 years, diverted about $125,000 in donation checks written to the church into the account, the criminal complaint alleges.
Mcloone allegedly used the account to take all of the money collected during the All Souls’ Celebration each year and convert it into checks written out to himself and others within the church, a total of nearly $40,000.
In addition to the collection money, Mcloone “supplemented his income by doubling the stipend he collected for saying each mass and performing weddings and funerals,” according to the district attorney’s office.
Authorities say Mcloone regularly withdrew cash in Ocean City, New Jersey, where he had a vacation home.