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Suit accuses Kentucky priest of pocketing church donations

November 27, 2021 GMT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Parishioners in Kentucky have accused a Roman Catholic priest of converting church funds for his personal use.

Current and former parish council members at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Louisville filed a civil lawsuit in Jefferson County against the Rev. Anthony Ngo, news outlets reported.

The lawsuit accuses Ngo of violating his fiduciary duties by pocketing the donations. Ngo has refused to share documents with the parish council about the church’s funds and donations and instructed a parish accountant to withhold the documents as well, it said.

“Donations made by parishioners and others to the parish have been converted by (Ngo) without authority or accountability,” the lawsuit said.

Ngo has declined comment, citing the ongoing lawsuit. Louisville Archdiocese spokeswoman Cecelia Price said a financial audit was conducted and “no malfeasance was found.” Ngo has been pastor for more than two decades and remains assigned to the church.

Price said the audit did identify “some procedural and management issues, and financial procedures will be reinforced for good financial management going forward.”

The lawsuit also said Ngo removed the plaintiffs from their volunteer roles on the parish council out of retaliation.