Joseph McLoone, an Irish priest based in New Jersey, has been arrested for allegedly misusing nearly $100,000 of parishioner’s donations to send to men he met on Grindr.
Father McLoone, 58, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with 18 counts, including multiple counts of felony theft. He has been under investigation by the authorities for over a year as well as being the subject of an internal investigation conducted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 2017.
McLoone worked as a priest at St Joseph Catholic Church in Downington, New Jersey. Investigators say he had been siphoning money since the opening of a secret checking account in 2011. Allegations towards him further stated that the siphoning of money went towards funding a beach house in Ocean City at the Jersey Shore. Thousands of dollars were also sent to various men on Grindr via Square and J-Pay, and further money went towards dinners, as the investigators discovered.
In early 2018, the Irish priest was removed from the church after the Archdiocese discovered information about the bank account. When the Archdiocese asked McLoone about this, he confessed to using the money to pay for “personal relationships” with men.
Kenneth Gavin, Chief Communications Officer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, made the following statement after McLoone’s arrest, “These charges are serious and disturbing. The Archdiocese and the parish will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as the criminal matter enters its next phase. Pending the outcome, Monsignor McLoone remains on administrative leave. Information regarding his arrest will be shared with the Saint Joseph Parish community.”
In relation to the early discovery of McLoone’s account, Kenneth Gavin continued, “At that time, he acknowledged that the existence of this account was in violation of established Archdiocesan financial controls and procedures. He further acknowledged that some expenditures from this account were for personal expenses of an inappropriate nature.”
McLoone is currently out on bail.
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