Cottage Grove man to be sentenced for $670K archdiocese theft
A Cottage Grove man has pleaded guilty to multiple charges in connection with the theft of more than $670,000 from the St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic Archdiocese.
Scott J. Domeier, 51, pleaded guilty May 15 to three counts of theft by swindle and two counts of filing a false tax return in Ramsey County District Court. He will be sentenced July 16 and faces up to four years in prison. He also will pay restitution.
"This man stole more than money, he took the trust of parishioners as well," Ramsey County District Attorney John Choi said after the pleading.
According to court records:
Domeier stole more than $670,000 while working as the archdiocese's accounting director from 1995 to early 2012. He used the money to pay off personal credit card debt, cover his children's student tuition and for other personal expenses.
The church placed him on administrative leave in January 2012 after learning he had inappropriately taken first-class airline tickets to Hawaii from a church vendor and misused a credit card issued to him. Also, records show, he diverted a parish's $4,735 check for Hurricane Katrina relief so he could buy a car owned by the parish, and he used stolen funds to pay for repairs to that car.
A forensic accounting firm hired by the church found that Domeier stole some $483,000 in archdiocese checks with generic church-related expenses listed on the memos. He enlisted other church accounting employees to unknowingly write checks he then diverted, according to court records.
The thefts occurred between 2008 and 2012, according to the two criminal complaints filed against Domeier. Additional charges were dismissed as part of his plea agreement.
The archdiocese's insurance covered the financial losses.