Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa Priest Charged after Parish Funds Allegedly Misappropriated

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa Priest Charged after Parish Funds Allegedly Misappropriated

Article excerpt

Ottawa priest charged with fraud and theft

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OTTAWA - An Ottawa priest faces fraud and theft charges after police said they found hundreds of thousands of dollars were misappropriated from a downtown parish.

Police said Wednesday they reviewed financial records at the Blessed Sacrament parish in the Glebe neighbourhood following a complaint by the Ottawa archdiocese.

Fraud investigators examined records from January 2006 to May 2011 and allege they found more than $240,000 in cheques had been misappropriated.

They said they also they couldn't account for more than $160,000 in cash revenues.

It's alleged some $20,000 in furniture and household items were taken from the rectory and later recovered from a home outside the province.

Joseph LeClair is charged with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000, criminal breach of trust and laundering proceeds of crime.

He was released from police custody on a promise to appear in court on July 25.

The Archbishop of Ottawa said many in the Catholic community -- especially in the parish -- are "hurt and disappointed" by the news. …

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