Special Announcement - Press Release - Theft Investigation Update
In 2016, numerous discrepancies in St. Francis de Sales Parish’s financial records came to light following the departure of a member of our staff. These inconsistencies were of a level that parish staff found it essential to seek the assistance of the Diocesan Finance Office, which immediately began a review of both parish financial transactions and procedures.
This review found many transactions and practices which were contrary to Diocesan procedures, inconsistent with general accounting practices and controls, as well as possible utilization of parish funds for inappropriate uses. For this reason, it was agreed that it was necessary to turn this matter over to the Newark Police Department for further investigation.
In August of 2016, The Newark Police Department (NPD) initiated a grand theft investigation into former St Francis de Sales Parish accountant, Amber McCracken. In doing so, McCracken was interviewed and acknowledged stealing over $100,000.00 in parish funds. Upon further investigation, NPD requested and received assistance from The Special Investigations Unit of The Bureau of Criminal Investigation and/or Office of the Attorney General. Additional stolen monies were then identified, and in all, totaling more than $150,000.00 in stolen parish funds. McCracken was arrested on 3-14-19 by Newark Detectives and was subsequently transported to The Licking County Justice Center. This case will be forwarded to The Licking County Prosecutor’s Office for review of formal charges.
Since the arrival of Father David Sizemore, the establishment of Maggie Wright as Director of Accounting and Development, the hiring of Shannon Karrenbauer as Business Manager, the re-alignment of a Parish Finance Council, and with the assistance of the Diocesan Finance Office, the parish has re-established controls and processes that provide clear and well-documented procedures for financial transactions, and ensure all parish staff and volunteers involved in these processes are fully aware of and comply with these practices. We ask for continued prayers for everyone affected by this situation and will continue to move forward as we focus on our mission of Making Disciples and Disciple-Makers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father David Sizemore and the SFDS Staff
on Thursday, March 14 at 2:30PM