Priest accused of stealing $500K meant for refugees

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LONDON, Ontario — A Canadian priest has reportedly been charged after he allegedly stole more than $500,000 meant for refugees.

According to the Toronto Star, Amer Saka of the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Ontario collected the money from a fund that was meant to benefit refugees moving to Canada. An investigation began months earlier, during which a church official said the clergyman had lost it “gambling.”

Saka was suspended immediately after news of the missing money. Bishop Emanuel Shaleta took Saka to a rehabilitation facility for priests “battling problems ranging from addiction to depression to sexually abusive behaviour,” the Star reports.

On Wednesday Saka, 51, was arrested. He faces charges fraud exceeding $5,000 and possess proceeds of property or thing exceeding $5,000, according to the Star.