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August 27, 2017

Archdiocese of Philadelphia alerts donors to theft of charitable contributions

Letter outlines 'procedural breakdown' at bank

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is reportedly investigating the theft of donations made to two charitable causes following the recent arrest of a TD Bank employee entrusted to handle the funds, according to a letter sent to donors last week.

A letter dated Aug. 24 on behalf of Archbishop Charles Chaput, first published Sunday by the Philadelphia Inquirer, warns donors of a "procedural breakdown at the bank lockbox facility" charged with handling donations to the Annual Catholic Charities Appeal and Annual Seminary Appeal.

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Signed by Rev. Msgr. Daniel J. Kutys, the letter advises donors that an internal review by TD Bank disclosed that some donations were "manually mishandled, misappropriated or not processed."

Only mailed donations and funds placed in baskets from a pew appear to have been impacted by the theft. Online donations were not affected, according to the letter.

“Currently, we are working to analyze the level of financial exposure in order to determine restitution for these campaigns,” the letter said. “It is important to note that this issue could not have been prevented by the Archdiocese, CCA, SA, or the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, which administers these appeals.”

The church reportedly became aware of the issue when multiple donors reached out with concern that their donations had not cleared from their bank accounts. The thefts appear to have occurred between December 2016 and July 2017.

Information about the TD Bank employee was not immediately available. A bank spokesperson told the Inquirer that no personal information was compromised by the thefts.

Donors who did not receive an acknowledgment of their contribution from the archdiocese within three weeks of sending it are advised to call 866-812-8700 with any questions and concerns.