Priest Turns Himself in For Embezzling Money From Church: Police

 A Roman Catholic priest was arrested after turning himself in for embezzling money from a church in Seymour, police said. 

Father Honore Kombo, 50, of Weston, turned himself into Seymour Police on Monday and faces first degree larceny charges, Seymore Police said.

"This is our church," one parishioner, Jacqueline Sarkes, told NBC Connecticut. "It's sad. We loved Father Kombo."

"Father Kombo was wrong to do this but I dont think he was malicious," Sarkes said. 

Police said they began investigating Kombo in April 2015 after a representatives from the Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation contacted them.

The representative told police they suspected Kombo of misappropriating money given to the church by a deceased parishioner. 

Police found that a fifth annuity had been left to the church by a deceased parishioner and Kombo had filed the necessary paperwork requesting the proceeds for this annuity, according to Seymour Police.

In May 2013, a "large sum of money" in the form of a check was made payable to St. Augustine Church and received by Kombo. The priest opened a bank account and deposited the annuity proceeds before withdrawing the "large sum" and depositing it to a personal account, police said. 

According to investigation findings, in Oct. 2013, Kombo had opened a line of credit account at a local bank in the name of St. Augustine's Church utilizing the church's tax identification information. Kombo would take the funds from this link of credit account and deposit a majority into his personal account, police said. 

While it was not disclosed how much money was taken from the church, first-degree larceny is a class B felony with a dollar amount in excess of $20,000. 

Last July, Kombo was removed from the parish.

Kombo has been released on a $10,000 bond and is schedule to appear in the Derby Superior Court on Mar. 14.

It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer. 

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