Seymour police arrested a Roman Catholic priest and charged him with first degree larceny for embezzling money from St. Augustine Church, of which he is the former pastor.
According to information released by police, Father Honore Kombo turned himself over to police after learning of a warrant for his arrest.
First degree larceny is a Class-B felony, which is categorized with a dollar amount exceeding $20,000, according to Deputy Chief Paul Satkowski.
The police are currently not releasing the exact amount Rev. Kombo is charged with embezzling.
The police investigation began nearly a year ago in April 2015, when police received a complaint from the Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation, which reported to detectives that there were concerns regarding the misappropriation of a bequest to the parish by a deceased parishioner.
The Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation released a statement confirming that it had registered this complaint with the Seymour police “after discovering funds were missing from the parish.”
According to the Archdiocese of Hartford statement, Rev. Kombo had been on administrative leave from July through November, when he was notified that he was no longer able to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese.
“The Archdiocese, along [with] St. Augustine Church will continue to cooperate fully with the police and prosecutor,” the Archdiocese stated.
The parishioner had left five annuities to the church; however, only four were reported to church officials, according to police information.
“Father Kombo had filed the necessary paperwork requesting the proceeds for this annuity,” a release stated. “That [sic] on May 6, 2013, a large sum of money in the form of a check made payable to the St. Augustine Church was received by Father Kombo.”
Rev. Kombo reportedly opened a bank account at a local bank and deposited the annuity funds, then withdrew this money and deposited into a personal bank account in his name.
Police also reported they found that several other checks made out to the church had been deposited into the latter account.
During the investigation, police reportedly discovered that on October 18, 2013, Rev. Kombo used the church’s tax identification information to open a line of credit at a local bank. Funds from this account were further deposited into his personal bank account, police said.
St. Augustine’s Church could not be reached for comment.
Rev. Kombo, who was released after posting a $10,000 bond, was reportedly cooperative with detectives throughout the investigation.
Rev. Kombo is scheduled to appear at Derby Superior Court on Monday, March 14.