A Catholic priest from Pennsylvania is accused of stealing almost $100,000 from his church to pay for a lavish beach house, boyfriends, and other personal expenses.
The Chester County District Attorney’s office announced that Joseph McLoone of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Downingtown, Pennsylvania was arrested this week after over a year-long investigation.
Philly Mag reports:
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case, Chester County detectives began investigating McLoone more than a year ago. He had been with the church since 2010, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia conducted their own internal investigation of McLoone in 2017.
Investigators claim that McLoone opened a secret checking account in 2011 and diverted parishioner donations into that account and misappropriated other church funds undetected for the next seven years.
McLoone allegedly embezzled money from the church into the secret checking account and then used it to pay for expensive dinners, travel expenses, and a beach house in Ocean City, New Jersey, as well as a Grindr XTRA account and to make several multiple online purchases.
When confronted about it by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, 58-year-old McLoone admitted to paying for “personal relationships” with men using church funds. He was placed on administrative leave and now faces 18 charges, including multiple counts of felony theft.
“These charges are serious and disturbing,” Kenneth Gavin, chief communications officer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, says. “The Archdiocese and the parish will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as the criminal matter enters its next phase.”
Chester County D.A.’s office put out a statement saying: “Father McLoone held a position of leadership and his parishioners trusted him to properly handle their generous donations to the church. Father McLoone violated the trust of the members of St. Joseph for his own personal gain.”
McLoone, who is out on $50,000 bail, has declined to comment on the matter.