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Philadelphia priest overseeing retirement home faces embezzlement charges


Msgr. William A. Dombrow, 77, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia responsible for a retirement home for priests, faces federal charges of embezzling more than $535,000 from that same home. Msgr. Dombrow is pictured in an undated photo. (CNS photo/Archdiocese of Philadelphia)

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PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- A priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia responsible for a retirement home for priests faces federal charges of embezzling more than $535,000 from that same home.

Msgr. William A. Dombrow, 77, was charged by the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Philadelphia April 5 with four counts of wire fraud in a scheme he is alleged to have devised to siphon off funds intended for care of retired archdiocesan priests at Villa St. Joseph, Darby, where he has served as the rector since 2005.

Catholic Human Services of the archdiocese operates the nursing care and residence for retired and ill priests.

The U.S. district attorney alleges that Msgr. Dombrow set up an account at Sharon Savings Bank in Darby unbeknown to the archdiocese, directed money from the estates of retired or deceased priests as well as bequests of lay donors to Villa St. Joseph, and transferred money electronically for his personal use.

The scheme is alleged to have begun in December 2007 and continued through May 2016. The district attorney charges the priest "had sole access" to the bank account, "which was funded by gifts from wills and life insurance proceeds that were intended for the archdiocese."

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