The million dollar Catholic church theft

The million dollar Catholic church theft
The limited edition "Bird of Paradise 
Cissy 21-inch Collectible Fashion Doll"

After she was caught, authorities removed many large boxes of dolls from her home. Some were from the Madame Alexander doll company. The one pictured here costs $600.

She said she has no money left.

For eight years, the woman worked in accounts payable for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, gaining the trust of her superiors.

Colleagues praised her quiet dedication and hard work, and noted that she prayed often; her volunteer work at an event at St. Patrick’s Cathedral won mention in the church’s newspaper, Catholic New York. No one, then, questioned the hundreds of checks she wrote at the archdiocese to cover small expenses, like office supplies and utility bills.

On Monday, the woman, Anita Collins, 67, was charged with embezzling more than $1 million over seven years from the archdiocese…

Prosecutors said Ms. Collins had issued 468 checks from the archdiocese to "KB Collins," the initials of one of her sons. After each check was printed, she would change internal records to show that the check had been issued to a legitimate vendor, prosecutors said.

The archdiocese did not know that when they hired her, she was on probation from an earlier theft of over $46,000 from a previous employer. And accountants everywhere are smacking their heads in disbelief – didn’t the archdiocese have any system in place that would have detected a loss of nearly $150,000 a year?

Two years ago, Ms. Collins was quoted after organizing a ceremony for people about to enter the Catholic Church:

"Seeing people coming into the faith makes me feel good because my faith
has always been a steadfast part of my life, and to me it’s very
heartwarming to see this. I think it’s marvelous and I just love it."

Read more: In Million-Dollar Theft Case, Church Worker With a Secret Past, The New York Times>>
– Madame Alexander>>
– Bird of Paradise at Dollsville>>

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