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Catholic priest accused of stealing $40K from church

By WPVI Staff

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    SOUTH COVENTRY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A Catholic priest is accused of stealing money from a Chester County parish.

Lawrence Kozak has been charged with theft and related crimes.

Authorities say Kozak racked up more than $40,000 in expenses over three years, and some of the money was used to play cell phone games.

Those expenses allegedly related to ‘Wizard of Oz’ slots, Candy Crush Saga, Cash Frenzy, Mario Kart Tour, and Pokemon Go, according to police.

Kozakwas removed from his position at St. Thomas More Church in South Coventry Township in November 2022.

The Archdiocese issued the following statement in response to this incident:

“Father Lawrence Kozak was placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese in November of 2022. His administrative leave followed a review of Saint Thomas More Parish’s financial activity by the Archdiocesan Office for Parish Services and Support. That review resulted in certain expenses and expenditure levels utilizing parish funds being questioned. The Archdiocese then referred the matter to law enforcement.

Father Kozak was arrested on Thursday, April 25th and faces felony theft charges.

The Archdiocese and the parish will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as the criminal matter enters its next phase. Pending the outcome of the criminal prosecution, Father Kozak remains on administrative leave.”

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