A priest stole $98k directly from the church donations over the course of 6 years and is finally set to see justice.
Joseph McLoone, of St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downington, Pa, funneled the money into a secret checking account over the course of at least six years and used it to pay for his “personal relationships” with men, as well as spending at least $3k of it on his credit card debt.
McLoone is facing multiple charges including several counts of felony theft. The Church has put him on administrative leave.
The Money Taken
Over the course of the six years, McLoone is accused of funneling a staggering $98,405 into the “St. Joseph Activity Account” he opened for himself at TD bank. The account was not authorized by the church or any officials.
Approximately $46,000 in cash was withdrawn at a branch in Ocean City, New Jersey, where McLoone has a beach home. It’s possible some of the purchase price of the home was also taken from church funds. It’s unclear right now where exactly all of that cash ended up.
Roughly $3,000 of the funds were spent to pay off his personal credit card debts.
The rest of the money was reported to be used to fund his dates and personal relationships with various men McLoone met and romanced, including $1,200 sent to a single inmate in a New York correctional facility that McLoone met before the man entered prison.
He also had a premium subscription to dating sites and would regularly wine and dine his love interests. In case you’re unclear, male priests in the Catholic Church are not permitted any kind of romantic relationship under any circumstances.
The Church’s Reaction
Downington, PA, is about 33 miles west of Philadelphia, and St Joseph’s falls under their jurisdiction.
Early last year the Archdioceses of Philadelphia launched an investigation into the priest when they noticed things weren’t adding up, financially. He was placed on administrative leave while the investigation was underway, but McLoone ultimately resigned from his position.
According to the Catholic church, they have been working closely with law enforcement to ensure that McLoone receives the punishment he is due. In a statement, they called the charges against McLoone “serious and disturbing”.
McLoone took over St Joseph’s in 2011 after Father William Lynn, who was previously at the post, was indicted and arrested for various counts of covering up clergy abuse enacted by his fellow priests.