Priest to stand trial for 'misappropriation of funds'

Accused of taking advantage of elderly teacher

Priest to stand trial for 'misappropriation of funds'

(ANSA) – Florence, January 4 – Prosecutors are calling for a priest to stand trial for allegedly taking 40,000 euros from a retired teacher that is now deceased. Magistrates suspect the woman in question may have been weak of mind and taken advantage of. The priest has always defended his actions, saying he had used the funds in question to look after the elderly teacher as her relatives had neglected her. The teacher had spent her working life teaching at an elementary school in the town of Rignano Sull'Arno, in Tuscany. Upon retiring, she had returned to her home town of Nepi, in the central Italian Lazio region, where she was reunited by chance with her former parish priest, Giovanni Concordia, who was 83 at the time. In the three years leading up to 2012, the woman had withdrawn 80,000 euros in cash and signed cheques for 20,000 euros. Of the total, 40,000 allegedly ended up with the elderly priest. The priest had allegedly taken to accompanying her on various occasions when she went back to her bank branch in Tuscany to carry out financial transactions. The investigation into the finances of the deceased teacher were triggered by her son, who filed a police report after becoming suspicious upon seeing her bank account statements. Prosecutors contend she may have been unsound of mind towards the end of her life and that the priest may have taken advantage of her.

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