Priest Charged in Theft of Nearly $500k

February 9, 2011

YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- A priest from York County has been charged with stealing nearly a half-million dollars.

Police charged Richard Nachajski, 64, with the theft. Just over $476,000 is missing from a Catholic church in Berks County.

He was the priest at St. Anthony's of Padua's Roman Catholic Church in Reading from 1998 to March 2009.

He's accused of writing over $325,000 in checks made payable to him and various credit companies for purchases he made, including a time share in Mexico and a vehicle for the church, which he is accused of keeping even after taking a leave of absence.

Other purchases he is accused of making include home improvements and trips.

If convicted, Nachajski faces up to 17 years in prison and fines of up to $40,000.

The Diocese of Allentown issued a statement. You can read a portion of that below:

"The Diocese conducted a routine audit after the pastor change in 2009. Upon completion of that audit, the Diocese contacted law enforcement officials who launched an investigation resulting in the charges that were filed today. The diocese and the parish cooperated fully in that investigation."


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