The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has released a response to a claim by a New York newspaper that $15 million was “missing” from accounts of the St. Nicholas Shrine at Ground Zero, calling the allegations “completely false.”
The response was in reference to a story in The National Herald, a Greek American newspaper published in Astoria, New York.
It is important to note that at no time did The Pappas Post claim that $15 million was missing from St. Nicholas accounts.
Our story, published yesterday, states that an amount of over $3 million was transferred out of St. Nicholas accounts and used for unrelated expenses to cover deficits at the Archdiocese.
The Archdiocese made no reference to this claim, which was reported to The Pappas Post from an anonymous source inside the Archdiocese with direct knowledge of the transfer and was corroborated in an email by Archdiocese treasurer Michael Psaros.
That transfer, according to our source, was conducted by George Papadakos, the director of finance at the Archdiocese, who has subsequently been fired.
It is unknown if Archbishop Demetrios, head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, who is effectively the CEO of the organization, had any knowledge of these activities.
Psaros, a successful New York businessman who has promised to work tirelessly to help restore the Archdiocese into a “world-class ecclesiastical not-for profit institution” has engaged an outside consulting company to conduct a thorough operations review.
In an email to members of the Archdiocese Council, Psaros unequivocally states that “We further discovered, that to fund the deficit over the past two years, segregated/restricted accounts were invaded.”
Again, the Archdiocese in their rebuttal made no mention of segregated/unrestricted accounts being “invaded,” which Psaros confirmed were discovered.
The Archdiocese statement, which was released on the official website here, refers only to The National Herald’s claim of $15 million missing. According to the statement, “The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America wishes to inform the faithful that information published today in the Greek-American Newspaper Ethnikos Kirix stating that “fifteen million dollars are missing from the St. Nicholas Fund,” is completely false.”
The rebuttal went on to state that “His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and the Officers of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council are preparing material to inform the faithful responsibly and comprehensively about the facts and the true circumstances of the Archdiocese’s administrative and financial situation.”