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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Former Finance Director Of Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Of America Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Philip R. Bartlett, the Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), announced that GEORGE PAPADAKOS, the former Director of Finance of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (“GOAA”), pled guilty today to embezzling more than $60,000 of GOAA funds for personal expenses.  PAPADAKOS surrendered this morning and pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.  PAPADAKOS’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated:  “As Director of Finance of the Greek Orthodox Church, George Papadakos was supposed to serve his Church, not himself.  As he admitted today, he embezzled from the Church for nearly six years.  For this sin, he faces the possibility of time in a federal prison.”

USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett said:  “Mr. Papadakos used his position at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to steal from the hand who employed him.  Today’s plea is a reflection that Karma always comes from a higher authority and justice escapes no one.”

According to the allegations in the Information to which PAPADAKOS pled guilty, as well as statements made in court during the plea proceeding:

Between 2012 and September 2017, PAPADAKOS, the Director of Finance for GOAA, repeatedly embezzled from GOAA.  He charged approximately $66,499 to a corporate credit card for personal expenses without GOAA’s authorization.  These personal expenditures included charges for home improvements, clothing, a gym membership, iTunes, and medical bills.  During the period of PAPADAKOS’s embezzlement, GOAA was enduring financial difficulties.

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PAPADAKOS, 52, of Westfield, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, PAPADAKOS has agreed to both forfeiture and restitution of $66,499.

The statutory maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 

PAPADAKOS is scheduled to appear before Judge Berman on June 24, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., in part to set a schedule for PAPADAKOS’s sentencing proceeding.

Mr. Berman praised USPIS for its outstanding work on this case and noted that the investigation is ongoing.

This matter is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Neff and Michael C. McGinnis are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
19-192
Updated June 19, 2019