Thursday, June 20, 2019

Legal fallout begins for GOA financial scandal

This is not the end of the legal fallout from the Greek Archdiocean financial scandal. It is the beginning.

NEW YORK (GOARCH) — As previously communicated to the Faithful by the Archdiocese, after becoming aware of financial irregularities in late 2017, the Archdiocese self-reported its discoveries to governmental authorities in the State of New York. In the Spring of 2018, the Archdiocese was contacted by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Since that time, the Archdiocese has worked cooperatively with their offices.

The US Attorney’s Office announced today that George Papadakos, the Archdiocese’s former Director of Finance, has pled guilty to embezzling more than $60,000 of Archdiocesan funds for personal expenses. According to the government’s publicly posted report, Mr. Papadakos, of Westfield, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. Mr. Papadakos left the Archdiocese in the Fall of 2017.

“The Archdiocese is committed to full transparency with governmental authorities and continues to cooperate fully with the United States Attorney and U.S. Postal Inspection Service,” said Bishop Andonios, Chancellor of the Archdiocese.
And also...
(DOJ) - Former Finance Director Of Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Of America Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Philip R. Bartlett, the Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), announced that GEORGE PAPADAKOS, the former Director of Finance of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (“GOAA”), pled guilty today to embezzling more than $60,000 of GOAA funds for personal expenses. PAPADAKOS surrendered this morning and pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. PAPADAKOS’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated: “As Director of Finance of the Greek Orthodox Church, George Papadakos was supposed to serve his Church, not himself. As he admitted today, he embezzled from the Church for nearly six years. For this sin, he faces the possibility of time in a federal prison.”

USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett said: “Mr. Papadakos used his position at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to steal from the hand who employed him. Today’s plea is a reflection that Karma always comes from a higher authority and justice escapes no one.”

According to the allegations in the Information to which PAPADAKOS pled guilty, as well as statements made in court during the plea proceeding:

Between 2012 and September 2017, PAPADAKOS, the Director of Finance for GOAA, repeatedly embezzled from GOAA. He charged approximately $66,499 to a corporate credit card for personal expenses without GOAA’s authorization. These personal expenditures included charges for home improvements, clothing, a gym membership, iTunes, and medical bills. During the period of PAPADAKOS’s embezzlement, GOAA was enduring financial difficulties.

* * *

PAPADAKOS, 52, of Westfield, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Under the terms of his plea agreement, PAPADAKOS has agreed to both forfeiture and restitution of $66,499.

The statutory maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

PAPADAKOS is scheduled to appear before Judge Berman on June 24, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., in part to set a schedule for PAPADAKOS’s sentencing proceeding.

Mr. Berman praised USPIS for its outstanding work on this case and noted that the investigation is ongoing.

This matter is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Neff and Michael C. McGinnis are in charge of the prosecution.


  1. "What is this? Amateur hour?" --Robert Kondratick

    1. Haha. Nice one. But remember that he, too, was eventually caught and convicted after (if I remember correctly) he was deposed from the priesthood and "retired" to the parish in Venice, Florida.

  2. The OCA remains the example of how to deal (and not deal) with scandal. They made every mistake in the book before eventually getting their act together and handling their problems.

    Don't sweep dirt under the rug. Coverups almost always blow up and become as bad or worse than the original sins. Investigate any credible allegations of wrong doing and remove any who have acted improperly. And most importantly, be open and aboveboard about everything.

  3. If I were GOA I wouldn't be falling out of my chair over the guy laundering $66K of his expenses in a multi-million dollar organization. That's non-systemic risk.

    I assume there are bigger problems, starting with that Taj Mahal in Lower Manhattan.

  4. It’s the tip of the iceberg...
    Question is, will the DOJ get to the bottom of it, instead of just giving us a scapegoat. Who knows the political gamesmanship between the EP, the State Department and the DOJ? Who loses once again?
    There are millions in malfeasance and/or misfeasance for which the laity deserves answers. We’ve had 40 years of mismanagement and scandal, it’s time to clean out this culture of waste and mismanagement once a for all. Prosecute any and all bad actors to the fullest extent of the law.