CNA Staff, Aug 12, 2020 / 02:07 pm (CNA).- The former Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools in Washington, D.C., has been charged with embezzling close to half a million dollars from the archdiocese over an eight-year period.
Kenneth Gaughan, 41, has been charged in two separate schemes to steal money from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and the federal Paycheck Protection Program put in place to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will not tolerate exploitation of this national emergency for personal gain,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin in a press release.
“This Office will not allow fraudsters to steal taxpayer money intended to help small businesses that are currently struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The criminal complaint, unsealed Aug. 11, charges Gaughan with bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and theft of government funds. He is accused of seeking and accepting $2.1 million in small business loans for companies that falsely claimed to register emotional support animals.
Gaughan reportedly used forged bank records and other paperwork to obtain the loans. Prosecutors say he used the funds to buy a yacht, $1.3 million D.C. rowhouse, and luxury car.
He is also being charged with separately embezzling $472,000 from the Archdiocese of Washington from 2010-2018. According to prosecutors, Gaughan, who served as assistant superintendent, persuaded the archdiocese to pay invoices to companies he owned under an alias for services that had not actually been provided, included anti-bullying programs and messaging software.
The Archdiocese of Washington told the Washington Post that it planned to “fully cooperate in the prosecution of the scheme to defraud.”
Gaughan has pled not guilty, the Washington Post reported.