FEDS SIDELINE FORMER ST. FRANCIS XAVIER PRIEST IN FRAUD SCHEME; DUPED PARISHIONERS OF MORE THAN $75 G’S

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FEDS SIDELINE FORMER ST. FRANCIS XAVIER PRIEST IN FRAUD SCHEME; DUPED PARISHIONERS OF MORE THAN $75 G’S

St. Francis Xavier Church in Compton, Md. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

St. Francis Xavier Church in Compton, Md. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Former Pastor of St. Mary’s County Church Indicted on Federal Bank Fraud Charges

Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury has charged John S. Mattingly, age 70, of Charlotte Hall, Maryland, today for bank fraud in connection with a scheme to steal funds from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, while he was the pastor.  The indictment was returned on August 29, 2016, and unsealed today after Mattingly’s arrest.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron.

St. Francis Xavier Church, Compton, Md. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

St. Francis Xavier Church, Compton, Md. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

According to the 20-count indictment, Mattingly was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1972 and was the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (St. Francis), in Leonardtown, Maryland, from 1994 until September 1, 2010, when he resigned.  While serving as a parish priest, Mattingly was paid a salary and stipend by St. Francis.

The indictment alleges that from September 2006 through September 2010, Mattingly fraudulently deposited checks from parishioners made payable to St. Francis and to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which were intended by the St. Francis parishioners to be charitable donations, into a bank account he controlled.  In order to conceal the scheme, Mattingly allegedly falsely represented that that the checks he deposited into his bank account would be used for charitable purposes and/or church maintenance and renovations. 

According to the indictment, Mattingly did not use the charitable contributions from the St. Francis parishioners for their intended purposes, but instead transferred the fraudulently obtained funds from his bank account to Mattingly’s personal individual retirement account. The indictment further alleges that Mattingly also wrote unauthorized checks from the St. Francis bank account payable to himself and deposited those checks into his personal individual retirement account.

According to the indictment, Mattingly did not use the charitable contributions from the St. Francis parishioners for their intended purposes, but instead transferred he fraudulently obtained funds from his bank account to Mattingly’s personal individual retirement account.

The indictment further alleges that Mattingly also wrote unauthorized checks from the St. Francis bank account payable to himself and deposited those checks into his personal individual retirement account.

The indictment alleges that over the course of the scheme Mattingly fraudulently deposited more than 500 checks, totaling at least $76,000, written by more than 135 parishioners and made payable to St. Francis or the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and not to Mattingly.

Mattingly faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for each of the 20 counts of bank fraud.  An initial appearance was held today in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.  Mattingly is released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, and St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan E. Foreman, who is prosecuting the case.

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