A Bronx woman is accused of stealing more than $1 million from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York when she worked in the archdiocese’s finance office.
Anita Collins worked at the headquarters of the archdiocese in Manhattan, for more than eight years, first in accounts payable for the education finance office, and then for the chancery, the main office that manages the archdiocese’s extensive finances, says a New York Times report.
The report says that because checks of $2,500 or less did not require approval from a supervisor, Collins kept the payments just under that amount, issuing more than 450 such checks to herself over seven years.
Adam Kaufmann, the chief of investigations for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in the report, “Every entity has controls in place to try to protect themselves, and the sad thing is that if you’ve got a corrupt employee they’ll find a way around the controls.”
Questions were raised during a routine audit, officials said, and Collins was confronted about the missing money in December, the report says. When she was hired in the summer of 2003, the archdiocese did not regularly conduct criminal background checks on all of its employees, and her past convictions were not noticed,the report noted.
The archdiocese now conducts background checks on its employees, says the report.