Pa. Priest Arrested for Alleged Theft, Forgery

Richard Nachajski is charged with having embezzled more than $476,000

A priest was charged with having embezzled nearly half a million dollars while serving in a church in eastern Pennsylvania.

Berks County authorities charged Richard Nachajski, 64, of York, Pa. with theft, forgery and related counts while he was at St. Anthony's of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Reading. He was at the parish from 1998 until March 2009, when he took a leave of absence, investigators said.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown found suspicious purchases, transactions and transfers, unaccounted funds and an unknown bank account during a routine audit and contacted the Berks County District Attorney's Office in November 2009.

Officials intend to file an insurance claim and expect to be reimbursed for much of the money.

Nachajski surrendered to authorities for arraignment Wednesday and was released on $25,000 bail pending a Feb. 25 hearing.

Defense attorney Lawrence Hracho did not immediately return a call from the AP seeking comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us