Ex-Lebanon church official charged with theft of $100K

The Enquirer, Cincinnati/November 29, 2006
By Janice Morse

Lebanon - A former business manager is accused of skimming $100,000 from St. Francis de Sales parish.

Mark Anthony, 47, of Dayton, Ohio, has been charged with theft after money was discovered missing. St. Francis de Sales, Lebanon's only Catholic church, has a congregation of nearly 1,000 families.

Anthony is to face the felony charge Dec. 15 in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

The church expects to recoup its losses through insurance coverage, officials said.

Anthony, who served as the parish's business manager for four years, resigned earlier this year after a lay member of the church's finance committee noticed discrepancies in church accounts while helping the pastor put together a budget, said Dan Andriacco, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Church leaders reported the situation to police, leading to an indictment released Monday against Anthony.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Bernard Weldishofer, told parishioners in May that Anthony had resigned.

A statement issued at that time said, "It appears that he has been using some parish funds for his own personal expenses."

The church issued another statement this week confirming that an indictment had been filed.

But Weldishofer and other church officials declined further comment because they say they might be called to testify.

Neither Anthony nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.

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