Gardner priest charged with stealing thousands from church - KCTV5 News

Gardner priest charged with stealing thousands from church

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Father Joseph Cramer Father Joseph Cramer

A Johnson County priest is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the parish he led for years. 

Father Joseph Cramer faces one count of theft of more than $25,000. 

Cramer was the priest at Divine Mercy Parish in Gardner. 

Court documents state the thefts happened between November 2015 and May 2016. 

He also faces two counts of a computer crime. 

In September of 2017, representatives with the Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City told the authorities Cramer had been stealing from the church after the business manager examined the financial records and found an unusual number of canceled checks that Cramer had signed and made payable to himself.

The business manager found that the checks were made payable to Cramer when they were printed, but that the QuickBooks entries were changed to the names of vendors and other priests.

The District Attorney’s Office and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office discovered that there were 20 vendors who were indicated as the payee in Quickbooks when Cramer was the actual payee.

A total of 76 checks were included in the examination, which totaled $42,836.50 in losses to the church.

A detailed analysis of the transactions drawn on Cramer’s personal accounts between November 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016 revealed $42,890.69 in credits into the accounts, and $42,496.33 in debits from the two accounts. Those debits included more than $4,500 spent at Argosy Casino.

Investigators then got records from Argosy, Ameristar Casino, and Harrah’s Casino. They found that, between those two dates, Cramer’s losses at the casinos totaled $67,064.66.

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