PHILADELPHIA (CBS)— A Delaware County monsignor is facing wire fraud charges from the feds.
Authorities say he stole more than a half-a-million-dollars from a retirement home for priests and used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle.
Expensive dinners, gambling, Philly Pops tickets. That’s what prosecutors say Monsignor William Dombrow spent big money on – cash that was meant for the Archdiocese.
Dombrow is the rector at Villa St Joseph, a retirement home in Darby where many retired priests live, some had been accused of sexual abuse in the past.
Prosecutors say the now 77-year-old Dombrow had sole access to one of the facility’s bank accounts, and he filled it with money from estates of parishoners who wanted to donate, and life insurance money from priests.
In one example, given by prosecutors, Dombrow grabbed a $25,000 check from one man’s estate in 2014. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rotella says, last summer, the Archdiocese started to investigate Dombrow after learning about a series of large cash withdrawals from Harrah’s Casino in Chester. Archdiocese officials say the account was then immediately frozen.
“Monsignor Dombrow’s priestly faculties as well as his administrative responsibilities were restricted. Throughout this investigation, the Archdiocese has cooperated fully with law enforcement,” the Archdiocese said in a statement.
His attorney, Coley O. Reynolds said, “On behalf of Monsignor Dombrow, I must express how deeply and sincerely remorseful he is of his conduct. Monsignor Dombrow is ashamed to have shed such a bad light on the Archdiocese. From the beginning, he has cooperated fully with the investigation and will continue to do so in the future. Monsignor Dombrow has spent his life serving the church and God. He has helped a great many people deal with serious addictions and other problems. He hopes to someday redeem himself.”
The FBI joined Darby Police in the investigation. If convicted, Dombrow could face a maximum prison sentence of 80 years.