Botox injections, club membership and a set of clothes may have been high on the priority list of one Staten Island pastor who is being accused of paying for his luxuries with parish funds.
A recent report by the Staten Island Advocate indicates that Reverand William Blasingame resigned from the St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal Church in January 2009, is accused of stealing over $80,000 over the course of three years, and is now being charged with second-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal possession of stolen property.
The pastor may also be facing up to 15 years in prison.
Church officials say the pastor led a strange life at this church, and used to hoard material possessions frequently.Plastic surgery and Botox injectionsturned out to be high on his to-do list, and he may have used church funds to pay for all of his procedures.
The church’s senior warden and treasurer, Richard Mingoia says that he would not give anyone access to two of his accounts.The former reverend had set up two separate funds to help maintain the church grounds and provide stipends to parishioners.Investigators say he ‘used the discretionary fund as a personal piggy bank’ by writing checks to himself and keeping the accounts under his sole control.Payments went towards his car, expensive clothes, plastic surgery and even club memberships.
The first red flag for the church occurred when the bookkeeping accounts did not match the bank statements.The church’s bank information was stored online, and Mingoia came across records that indicated Father Blasingame had written checks to himself over several occasions.
The reverend resigned for medical reasons at the beginning of the year and started receiving a disability pension. The Staten Island District Attorney is currently investigating the case, and the reverand’s lawyers contend that the allegations are a ‘mistake.’(Source: Silive.com)