Former administrator, ex-pastor in Vero Beach stole $1.5M
Vero Beach, Fl (treasurecoast.com)- A nine-month fraud investigation has resulted in the arrest of a former Catholic church parish administrator in Vero Beach after donations were fraudulently deposited for years, police said.
Here is the scoop!
The Vero Beach Police Department has recently concluded a nine-month fraud investigation, resulting in the arrest of Holy Cross Catholic Church’s former parish administrator, Deborah True. The investigation revealed that in 2012 Deborah True and former pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church, Fr. Richard Murphy, opened a bank account in the name of “Holy Cross Catholic Church”, which was hidden from the Catholic diocese of Palm Beach. Bank records show that nearly $1.5 million of parishioners’ donations were fraudulently deposited into the account, since 2015.
From 2015 until 2020, Deborah True used over $500,000 of those funds to pay off personal lines of credit. An additional $147,000 was withdrawn from the account and deposited into Deborah True’s personal checking account. The investigation revealed that former Pastor Father Richard Murphy also personally benefited from the funds in the account. Father Richard Murphy passed away in 2020 and, therefore, no criminal investigation was opened against Father Richard Murphy.
On 09/19/22, Deborah True turned herself in at the Indian River County Jail on one count of Organized Fraud over $50,000.00. Deborah True has since bonded out and is awaiting trial.