Charges filed Friday against former Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis accountant Scott Domeier allege a $670,000 swindle that included thousands of dollars intended for Hurricane Katrina relief.
Domeier, 50, was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 3 after the Archdiocese learned he had inappropriately accepted first class airline tickets to Hawaii from a vendor and had misused his Archdiocese-issued credit card.
An investigation found Domeier used the credit card in early 2009 to pay for repairs to a car that he claimed belonged to the Archdiocese. Further investigation revealed that the car did indeed belong to the Archdiocese -- in 2005.
Domeier is also accused of diverting a check for $4,735 from another parish earmarked for Hurricane Katrina relief to pay for the car, even though church records made it appear the other parish had purchased the car.
Based on these allegations, the Archdiocese hired a forensic accounting firm to investigate their finances for any signs of abuse by the former accountant. They found Domeier had stolen more than $670,000 from the Archdiocese to pay personal credit card balances, tuition at a private school for his children and other personal expenses.
Domeier pulled off the swindle by having someone else in the accounting department write a check and add a legitimate purpose in the memo line. These notations wouldn't raise any red flags that would trigger further scrutiny. Domeier would then sign the check and use it for his own personal expenses rather than Archdiocese-related expenses.
Scott Domeier is charged with seven counts of theft-by-swindle, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine each.