Rev Noah Njegovan receives 22-month conditional sentence

Noah Njegovan, son of Brandon’s Bishop Jim Njegovan, was sentenced today for stealing around $200,000 from the diocese. Njegovan won’t be going to jail.

The judge noted that “People no longer want to give them [the diocese] money because people no longer believe they are capable of managing their money.” Every cloud has a silver lining.

From here:

A Brandon judge has handed down a 22-month conditional sentence to a Manitoba priest who admitted to using a church credit card for almost $200,000 in private purchases.

Noah Njegovan was charged in 2015 with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000. He pleaded guilty to the theft charge at Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench in December, while the fraud charge was stayed.

At the time of the offence, Njegovan was an archdeacon with the Anglican Diocese of Brandon and was in charge of finances and bookkeeping for the diocese. Court documents say he had access to the church’s credit card and online bank accounts.

“$192,000 from a church,” Justice John Menzies said in sentencing Njegovan Tuesday, taking a long pause. “An organization that preaches trust and giving the benefit of the doubt … pays for that.

“This is a horrible, horrible offence,” he added, calling Njegovan’s actions a huge breach of trust.

Diocese of Brandon’s Noah Njegovan pleads guilty to fraud

A Diocese of Brandon rector, Noah Njegovan, the son of Bishop Jim Njegovan is alleged to have relieved the diocese of $192,000, much of which he spent in Sin City eating expensive meals and visiting massage parlours. He had been denying the whole affair, but now is pleading guilty to the charges.

Had he used his own money for the massages, he probably could have just added an “M” to the LGBT-etc litany, claimed membership in the Massage Community and been applauded for coming out. As it is, he committed an act so heinous even the Anglican Church of Canada regards it as sinful: he took their money.

Anglican priest, Noah Njegovan re-arrested

Noah Njegovan is the son of the Diocese of Brandon’s bishop, James Njegovan. Njegovan senior recently announced his plans to retire.

From here:

A 32-year-old man was arrested after an investigation revealed that he stole more than $200,000 from his former employer, according to Brandon police.

Police identified the man as Anglican priest Noah Njegovan, the son of Brandon Bishop Jim Njegovan. Civil court documents allege that Noah made trips to Sin City, and meals and massages were among the fraudulent purchases using a church credit card.

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.

Njegovan junior denies any fraud or misappropriation of funds. No doubt Njegovan’s trips were his way of bringing the good news of the Anglican Church of Canada to ladies working in the massage parlours of Sin City. A generous pastoral response, I think it’s called.

Diocese of Brandon bishop, James Njegovan, to retire

Bishop James Njegovan of the diocese of Brandon has announced his retirement.

Last year the diocese took the rather unusual measure of suing the bishop’s son for stealing $350,000 of the diocese’s money. Just as gravity has little to do with the motion of falling objects, so the scandal has nothing to do with the retirement – says the bishop.

In a masterpiece of understatement, Njegovan muses that, for some, this will not be entirely unwelcome news. That is probably why the announcement was made on Palm Sunday: to coincide with the rejoicing.

BishopNjegovanFrom here:

On Palm Sunday, Bishop James Njegovan of the diocese of Brandon announced in a pastoral letter that effective July 31, 2015, he will be retiring after 13-and-a-half-years of episcopal service.

“For some this announcement may come as a surprise,” he said in the letter. But, he added, without elaborating, that for others “as much as I may regret it—it will not be entirely unwelcome news.”

In an interview with the Anglican Journal, Njegovan said there was no connection between his decision to retire and the diocesan lawsuit currently underway involving his son, Noah Njegovan. Bishop Njegovan’s episcopacy has faced challenges in the last two years since his son was charged with fraud for his alleged use of a diocesan business credit card for personal expenses during his time as diocesan archdeacon from 2009 to 2012. Although the Crown withdrew its charges against Noah Njegovan in 2014, the diocese subsequently launched a $350,000 civil lawsuit against him, claiming damages of $250,000 for fraud, breach of trust, breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation, and $100,000 for punitive and exemplary damages. The bishop has refrained from involvement or comment on the case, citing his personal relationship with his son.

Bishop Jim Njegovan’s son’s assets frozen

More on the fraud allegations against Noah Njegovan.

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.

Diocese of Brandon sues Bishop’s son

Noah Njegovan, the son of the Bishop of Brandon, was arraigned on fraud charges in April 2013. In March 2014, the charges were withdrawn but now the Diocese of Brandon is suing Njegovan for $350,000.

The bishop, Jim Njegovan, attempted to endear himself to his congregations by forbidding them from distributing the Anglican Planet, by removing a portrait of his predecessor Bishop Malcolm Harding from the cathedral and informing him that, because he had joined ANiC, “he could no longer exercise any ordained ministerial function within the Church and not use ministerial titles or wear clerical vesture.” So much for inclusion and diversity. As it turns out, it seems that the bishop would have been better off diverting some of his energies into explaining to his son why embezzling from one’s employer is a career limiting endeavour.

From here:

The Anglican Diocese of Brandon is suing a priest in a bid to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly embezzled using a credit card.

According to a statement of claim recently filed in Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench, the diocese is suing Noah Njegovan for $350,000, plus other damages and costs.

Bishop Jim Njegovan’s son charged with fraud

The Venerable  Noah Njegovan, Executive Archdeacon of the Diocese of Brandon, has been charged with fraud for running up over $190,000 in personal expenses on a church credit card.

The spending occurred over a two and a half year period, an average of $76,000 per year in disappearing funds. This surely brings into question the diligence of the diocesan auditors and overall leadership; how can you not notice the evaporation of $76,000 per year?

Here is the article:

A priest — the son of a Brandon bishop — is accused of fraud based on an allegation that more than $190,000 in personal expenses were charged to a church credit card.

The accused appeared in court for the first time on Monday, but Father Shane Bengry said that members of the Anglican Diocese of Brandon had already been notified of the accusations.

“We wanted to be as transparent as possible to our congregations … we tried to keep people abreast of what was going on,” said Bengry, who is chairman of the communication committee for the diocese.

Noah James Bernard Njegovan, 30, is charged with fraud over $5,000.

He made his first appearance in Brandon court on Monday, and his next court date is set for May 9.

Njegovan is the son of Brandon Bishop Jim Njegovan.

Noah Njegovan was executive archdeacon and assistant to his father at the time of the alleged offence.

He worked out of the synod office on the 300-block of 13th Street.

Njegovan, an Anglican Church of Canada priest, has had his licence to officiate suspended pending the outcome of his court case. That means he presently can’t preside over church functions.

The allegations against him haven’t been proven in court.

Court documents allege that the Anglican Diocese of Brandon was defrauded when a business card was used for personal affairs between March 12, 2010, and Sept. 12, 2012.

Bengry said that a precise figure for the alleged fraud has yet to be calculated, but he said it’s clearly more than $190,000. Another estimate puts the total around $198,000.

The money represents funds gathered by diocese members through their parishes to keep the diocese running, Bengry said.

The Anglican Diocese of Brandon stretches along the length of Manitoba, along its western boundary and contains more than 50 congregations.

Losing that money has led the diocese to liquidate some of its assets to allow its work to continue.

“We’re not a wealthy diocese,” Bengry said.

An insurance claim has been filed for a significant portion of the loss, but “nowhere near” the full amount.

Bengry said that financial irregularities came to light during a regular, albeit delayed, audit performed after an employee resigned in August.

The employee left of his own choosing and wasn’t fired, Bengry said. He’d held his dual positions with the diocese for about three years.

It was only later, once the replacement employee completed the audit, that the financial irregularities were found and city police were notified in mid-January.

Noah Njegovan, who currently has a Rosenort address, was arrested in February and then released pending Monday’s court date.

Congregation members were initially notified of the financial irregularities on Dec. 2, Bengry said. A letter was read from the pulpit of each Anglican church within the diocese.

Members were later provided with an update on the investigation which included the dollar estimate for the fraud. They were also told of the charge against Noah Njegovan and that he was to appear in court.

Bengry said that Bishop Njegovan, due to his relationship with the accused, kept himself out of the matter.

Fraud allegations aren’t exclusive to the church, Bengry noted.

“This happens in all sorts of organizations … people do the best they can and yet people do fail for a variety of reasons,” he said.

However, in light of the allegations, the diocese has put new financial rules in place to prevent fraud.

For example, in this particular case it’s alleged that online transfers allowed the fraud to continue undetected.

Bengry said there are now strategies in place to better follow such transfers and allow the diocese executive to approve expenses.