A Pennsylvania priest was arrested for diverting nearly $100,000 from parish funds into a secret account.
The 56-year-old priest had been a part of the church since 2010, and is believed to have opened a secret checking account the following year. He reportedly diverted parishioner donations into this account, and used these funds to pay for dinners, travel, and a beach home in Ocean City, New Jersey.
When the church started noticing the missing donations back in 2017, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia conducted an internal investigation into McLoone’s activity. According to the investigators, when McLoone was confronted by the Archdiocese about the missing funds, he confessed to using the money to pay for “personal relationships”.
Prior to his arrest, McLoone withdrew roughly $46,000 in cash from the “St. Joseph’s Activity Account” in Ocean City, New Jersey, where his beach house is located. Reportedly, McLoone used Grindr, an online dating app geared towards gay, bi, trans and queer people, to make hook-ups with male partners on whom he spent funds.
The 56-year-old priest also deposited $1,200 into a commissary account of an inmate in a New York correctional facility with whom he had a sexual relationship. The inmate has been identified as Brian Miller in court documents.
An official in the Chester County district attorney’s office said that McLoone “violated the trust of the members of St. Joseph for his own personal gain.”
According to prosecutors, McLoone used “funds to pay for dinners, travel, and a beach home.”
“He also used it to give money to men that he was dating or spending time with,” Chester County District Attorney Charles Gaza said.
“Father McLoone held a position of leadership and his parishioners trusted him to properly handle their generous donations to the church,” Gaza said. “Father McLoone violated the trust of the members of St. Joseph’s for his own personal gain.”