VENICE, Fla. - Sheriff’s investigators have arrested a former priest they say had been embezzling money from a church, including funds intended to help parishoners who have fallen on hard times.
67-year-old Robert Kondratick has been charged with Grand Theft.
According to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, Kondratick was employed as administrator of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Church on Shamrock Blvd, where church council members contacted the Sheriff’s office at the end of January after discovering funds had been misused over a six month period from June to December 2012. Church officials fired Kondratick after he was unable to account for the money.
Church officials say Kondratick requested signed blank checks to pay what he said were church expenses. However, the investigation revealed he cashed 28 checks made out to “cash” or to himself, totaling $53,950.
A majority of the checks indicated they were intended for the "Good Samaritan Fund" to aid members that needed financial help.
Kondratick turned himself in Wednesday.
In 2007, Kondratick was relieved of his duties as priest by the Orthodox Church of America in Syosset, New York following an investigation into financial misconduct. No criminal charges were filed at that time.