Former Pa. Priest Stole Parish Money for Ocean City, NJ Beach House
A Catholic Monsignor has admitted he stole $30,000 in parish money from his Pennsylvania parish to spend on his boyfriends and a beach house in Ocean City.
Monsignor Joseph McLoone, 58, pleaded guilty Thursday in Chester County, Pa. to misdemeanor theft charges and was sentenced to five years of probation, the first nine months of which he will complete under house arrest. He also will have to perform community service.
Monsignor Joseph McLoone, formerly of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Downingtown, was initially accused of stealing more than $98,400 from the church and using the money for the beach house and relationships with men he was dating. Still, he eventually reached a plea deal with Chester County prosecutors.
He has been on administrative leave since his resignation from St. Joseph in 2018.
Investigators claimed that McLoone opened a secret checking account in 2011 and diverted parishioner donations into that account, and misappropriated other church funds undetected for the next seven years.
McLoone disclosed the theft to church officials when questions were raised about payments he made during a routine audit in late 2017. That led to an investigation by the archdiocese, and authorities began their probe about a year later.
According to the Associated Press, Ken Gavin, an archdiocese spokesperson, said its leaders “are grateful for the resolution in this matter along with the closure and healing it brings.” He also noted that the required canonical investigation of McLoone — which had been on hold while the legal process played out — would now begin.