Florida Secretary and Florida Priest Stole $1.5M From Church: Cops

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The Biblical verse about “Thou Shall Not Steal” has allegedly caught up with an Irish Pastor who was living in Florida pontificating at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Vero Beach, and his associate who are accused of fraudulently depositing nearly $1.5 million of parishioners’ donations into a bank account over a five-year period, cops say, according to The Irish Examiner.

Irish Examiner reported that Father Richard Murphy (from County Wexford in Ireland) and his secretary Deborah True were under investigation since December 2021.

According to cops, the Diocese in Palm Beach reached out to police last fall about a possible fraudulent bank account and misappropriation of funds. The incident occurred over five years at Holy Cross Catholic Church.

After a nine-month investigation by the authorities into True and the late pastor, True concluded that True and True opened a bank in the name and credit of True. “Holy Cross Catholic Church,”According to cops, the secret was kept from the Catholic Diocese in Palm Beach.

The investigation also uncovered bank records which show that nearly $1.5 million of parishioners’ donations were fraudulently deposited into the account since 2015, police said.

Cops say True used over $500,000 of those funds to pay off personal lines of credit from 2015 until 2020, according to police, and an additional $147,000 was withdrawn from the account and deposited into True’s personal checking account.

Cops claim that Pastor Murphy also benefited from the funds in this account. Father Richard Murphy is not under investigation as he is already deceased.

True was arrested last week for one count of organized Fraud exceeding $50,000.00

The police shared the news via their Facebook page Tuesday afternoon and officially broke the news to the community.

Inside Edition Digital has obtained court records that show she has not entered any pleas and has only posted a $25,000 bail. True will be back in court on November 3rd, where she will face a judge. It is not clear if True has retained a lawyer.