What to Know
- Ex-executive director of Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America was arrested on charges he embezzled $500K+ from church, prosecutors said
- Jerome Dimitriou is charged in federal court in Manhattan with running 2 separate embezzlement schemes beginning in 2011
- The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is headquartered in NYC; Dimitriou began working for the church in 1987 and resigned in 2017
The former executive director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America was arrested by U.S. Postal Inspectors early Monday on charges he embezzled more than $500,000 from the church, prosecutors say.
Jerome Dimitriou is charged in court papers filed in federal court in Manhattan with running two separate embezzlement schemes beginning in 2011.
Dimitriou, 55, of Greenlawn, NY, is charged with two counts of wire fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, prosecutors say.
“As the executive director of a non-profit religious organization, Jerome Dimitriou was supposed to serve the organization, not himself,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. “As alleged, over several years, he abused his leadership position and embezzled over half a million dollars through two different schemes.”
In one scheme, Dimitriou is accused of charging tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses to his church issued credit card. The expenses included airline travel for his family, a gym membership, iTunes charges, and retail purchases.
In the second scheme, Dimitriou is charged with directing subordinates to issue him excess salary and paychecks without authorization of church officials from 2013 to 2017 totaling almost $500,000, court papers say.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is headquartered in New York City. Dimitriou began working for the church in 1987 and resigned as executive director in 2017, the church website says.
Dimitrou appeared in court Monday afternoon, and did not enter a plea before being released on $150,000 bond.
Nathaniel Z. Marmur, Dimitriou's lawyer, said his client worked at the church for 30 years until 2017.
Dimitriou, who now works as a consultant, looks forward to fighting the charges, he said.
"Jerry has dedicated his entire life to the church, and we look forward to all the facts coming to light," Marmur said.