As of December 20, 2023, a Pennsylvania Greek Orthodox priest faces charges in court after allegedly stealing over $117K from his church due to a gambling addiction. Father George Athanasiou, 37, was arrested and charged with 223 counts of theft following an investigation which led to the discovery that he had been cashing and depositing checks involving church funds into his own account. In addition, the priest was suspended from his priest position and is now undergoing an emotional health exam as part of the case.
It’s recently reported that Athanasiou’s attorney, Patrick Thomassey, has admitted that his client has been struggling with a gambling problem. The church is receiving support from the local community and is committed to repaying the money stolen by the priest. There have also been revelations that the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office has taken over the prosecution of the criminal case.
If convicted, Father Athanasiou could face substantial penalties, including prison time and hefty fines had he been convicted of this alleged crime. The case has attracted significant media attention throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Stay tuned with us for more updates on this developing story.