Church employees accused of stealing $1M each

February 13, 2012

Employees of the New York and Philadelphia archdioceses are accused of stealing $1 million each in Church funds.

In New York, archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said Jan. 30 that Anita Collins, who had worked for the archdiocese since 2003, allegedly stole about $1 million before she was fired Dec. 6.

Collins used "a sophisticated fraud to manipulate the accounts payable system in the Department of Education Finance Office," Zwilling said.

Collins was arraigned Jan. 30 on criminal charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records.

She faces a possible jail sentence of up to 25 years.

In Philadelphia, Anita Guzzardi, who was named chief financial officer of the archdiocese July 1, was terminated from employment later in July when alleged "financial accounting irregularities" were discovered.

Although an investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office was continuing, sources said the amount involved is nearly $1 million.

No criminal charges have been filed against Guzzardi.