It’s hard to imagine the bishop or the diocese riding out this dreadful mess:
Trips to Sin City, meals and massages were among the fraudulent purchases made by an Anglican priest using a church credit card, court documents allege.
In total, more than $200,000 in fraudulent purchases were made, documents state — including cash advances, payment of meal, bar and hotel bills and a trio of trips to Las Vegas.
The allegations were revealed as The Anglican Church of Canada, The Diocese of Brandon successfully applied to the court to have the priest’s assets frozen pending the outcome of a lawsuit.
The diocese’s insurer is suing the priest to recover the money that was allegedly embezzled, and the order freezing his assets was granted in Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday.
Named in court documents as the defendant is Noah Njegovan, the son of Brandon Bishop Jim Njegovan.
According to the statement of claim, Njegovan was executive archdeacon and assistant to his father at the time the funds were allegedly misappropriated.
Initially, Noah Njegovan was charged with fraud over $5,000 in relation to the case, but that charge was withdrawn in March.
The civil lawsuit — filed shortly after the fraud charge was withdrawn — seeks $250,000 for fraud, breach of trust, breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation.
It also seeks a further $100,000 in punitive damages.
A review of diocese finances revealed that, in total, more than $202,286 was misappropriated using the credit card.
That included $90,175 in cash advances, $46,660 spent on meal and bar bills, $13,277 on hotels, $8,107 on fuel and travel and $6,791 on three trips to Las Vegas.
Another $31,488 was spent on purchases such as clothing, a Netflix subscription and massages, documents allege.
A temporary order freezing the priest’s assets has been in place since July 24. Monday’s order puts that freeze in place until the lawsuit is resolved.
Noah Njegovan is not currently employed by, or associated with, the Diocese of Brandon.