SEYMOUR--A local priest has come under fire after police found he had embezzled money from his former church.
On Monday, Seymour Police arrested Father Honore Kombo, 50, of Weston. Kombo, the former pastor of St. Augustine Church, located at 135 Washington Ave. in Seymour, is accused of stealing at least $20,000 from his church.
The investigation began in April 2015 after a complaint was made to police from the Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation. The representatives told detectives that Kombo had misappropriated money left to the parish by a deceased parishioner, who had entrusted a series of five annuities to the church. However, a financial review by the church revealed the fifth annuity was never reported to church officials by Kombo, and the money was missing.
While looking into that fifth annuity, church officials found that Kombo had filed the paperwork to get the proceeds from the annuity, and that on May 6, 2013 a large check was made out to St. Augustine Church, but that the money was never deposited into the church's bank account. Instead, it was found that Kombo opened a new bank account and put the money in there, and he then withdrew money from the account and transferred it to his personal bank account.
After the discovery was made, it was also found that other checks made out to St. Augustine had been deposited into Kombo's account.
The investigation also revealed that on October 18, 2013 Kombo opened a line of credit at a local bank in the church's name, using the church's tax ID information, but that he put the funds in his own bank account.
Kombo is charged with one count of larceny in the first degree, and was released on a $10,000 bond. He'll appear in court on March 14.
While police did not release the exact amount of money stolen by Kombo, the charge is a class B felony for crimes involving thefts larger than $20,000.