Archdiocese Takes $7.5 Million Bank Loan

George Tsandikos with His eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America Source: TNH/Michalis Kakias

NEW YORK – The Archdiocese has taken out a bank loan of $7.5 million from the Alma Bank of New York to return the funds taken from the restricted accounts of St. Nicholas National Shrine and the clergy pension fund, and also to pay other debts.

The National Herald had revealed since September that the Archdiocese had reached virtual bankruptcy and it was thinking of getting a bank loan, using as collateral its two office buildings in Manhattan

The Archdiocese has now confirmed this, via the following press release:

ARCHDIOCESE COMPLETES FINANCIAL TRANSACTION WITH ALMA BANK

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announces today that it has completed a financial transaction with Alma Bank which has provided to the Archdiocese credit facilities at closing to immediately restore funds due to donor restricted and custodial accounts and to additionally satisfy legacy obligations from prior years.

“We are grateful to Alma Bank for its confidence in the concrete actions already taken by the Archdiocese towards financial stability and a balanced budget for this and future years” noted Bishop Andonios, Chancellor of the Archdiocese. “The decision of Alma, along with the approval of the Attorney General’s Office which was required for such a transaction, validate the actions taken to date by the administration of the Archdiocese to implement appropriate and necessary managerial and financial controls. That our finances and accounting practices have successfully undergone thorough due diligence, and have subsequently been found strong, represents an objective vote of confidence in the Archdiocese and is a success shared by us all.”

Alma has provided a 10 year $5.5 million mortgage at an initial 5-year rate of 4.25% along with a credit line on terms that are considered customary for commercial loans to a not-for-profit organization. The Archdiocese used loan proceeds from the mortgage and credit line aggregating $7.5 million to restore monies to the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, fulfill obligations to restricted funds and the pension plan, and to fund the Metropolises of the Archdiocese.

The debt service associated with the bank loan are well within budgeted amounts for addressing past obligations of the Archdiocese which is pleased to have established the banking relationship with Alma Bank.

15 Comments

  1. This still doesn’t answer the question of WHERE DID THE MONEY GO? Is this the “promise fulfilled” by fundraiser Karloutsos to restore the money?

    Our parents and grandparents assured that the jerks owned paid up properties in Manhattan at a prestigious address. The jerks now mortgage the family ranch and want you to thank them for being such good financial restructure guys.

    Interesting to note that the State AG had to approve the transaction. A sure sign of real underlying trouble. Also note that ALMA Bank is owned by the guy to whom HCHC bestowed an honorary degree. He then had to be whipped publicly by Demetrios and the robed Boys in The Band for his acceptance speech.The jerks treat their lenders the way they do the faithful who will, by the way, pay the “dues” that will pay the mortgage. THUS, we will pay for the building TWICE. All so that the jerks can wear robes and act like princes at Versailles.

    C-L delegates, make sure you yell out “Axios” when Demetrios tells you it’s all fixed. You’re dummies for even being there. Shame on all of you.

    Such a crock of s***.

      1. All the hierarchs from Geronda down dispute the reporting by this paper on the church’s shortcomings. However, the reporting has up to now not proven to be incorrect! FOOLS, though, follow, accept and swallow what they are told by our “esteemed” ecclesiastical leaders. As to where the money went, READ The National Herald report by Theodore Kalmoukos published on February 1, 2018 where the ousted Executive Director Jerry Dimitriou explains the shameful obligations.

        As a maverick old priest from Samos, on a You Tube video, expressing displeasure with the politics and governance of the church said ” και ποτε εδωσε η εκκλησια λογαριασμο ” ?
        In English ” since when did the church give an accounting” ?

        Consequently, my friends, give what you can if you want and stay out of the ” swamp ” !

  2. So we should be proud of “successfully” mortgaging our future so the mistakes of the present can be ignored?

    I do appreciate the attempt at positive spin here but having to get AG approval is a horrible sign, not noting the terms of the credit line is another bad sign, along with no discussion of how this “gift” will be repaid. Do they not teach debt service at HCHC?

    I beg forgiveness from the future generations for squandering our beautiful church

    1. As a New York Chartered non-for-profit corporation, the Archdiocese MUST explain to, and obtain permission from, the State AG’s office regulating non-profits before it can sell or mortgage its real estate. Years ago the Archdiocese received permission to sell some real estate in upstate New York to a former employee on terms approved by the AG. Later, the Archdiocese attempted to “forgive” some of the debt owed to it by its former employee. A Declaratory Action filed by attorney Simos Demas, as a member of the Archdiocese brought the AG into the matter and resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars by the Church which it was prepared to forfeit.

      The Press Release from the Archdiocese doesn’t specify which property the Archdiocese was required to pledge to secure the Alma Bank loan.. the property at 10-12 E. 79th Street?… the Holy Trinity Cathedral property at East 74th Street.. the 99 year lease for the Cathedral Towers property next to the Cathedral?.. all three? If one of the owners/officers/directors of the Alma Bank is also a members of the Archdiocesan Council, this would be an insider’s “Reg O” loan, subject to special examination by the Bank’s regulators. This certainly means that the interest-rate could not be more favorable than what it charges other borrowers and that the loan is exceptionally well-secured.

      Delegates to the Clergy-Laity Congress should demand total disclosure of all aspects of this loan as well as transparency about who approved of and will now be held accountable for the use of restricted St. Nicholas and Clergy pensions accounts.

  3. Let’s not forget, Alma Bank’s President & CEO, Mr. Psyllos, is on the Archdiocesan Council and Valiotis himself pledged $10 million to Andonios’ St. Michael’s Home so this transaction is OBVIOUSLY clean as… tar and further encourages trust in… absolutely nothing and noone. Some basic questions: are the first 5 years of the loan INTEREST ONLY? What happens AFTER the 5 years? Exactly WHICH properties are attached to this “mortgage”? Shouldn’t Alma have been excluded due to CONFLICT OF INTEREST? Or did the AG think it was OK that the CEO of Alma Bank had ANY influence in this “fair” decision? We should definitely trust his Disgrace, after all, he never covered up anything else before that involved Alma and the AG… or did he? Prove Me Wrong…

  4. Buried in the article is the fact that some of the borrowed funds went to the Metropolises. How much and to which ones and for which purposes? Kleftes!!!

  5. American Greek Orthodoxy, a precious legacy left by early Greek immigrants! Currently in a semi-comatose state, will Greek Orthodox hierarchy regain consciousness and respect hard-working laity to whom they owe accountability?

    1. “Will our hierarchy ever regain consciousness and respect for the laity -Greek Orthodox faithfu?” They never had either to begin with.

  6. The “fish rots from the head down”. Remove the rot, save the “fish”. Ignore this and the entire “fish” will soon rot completely. No amount of spin will stop this, it’s just a means to a cover-up (his Disgrace’s specialty). Besides, how can anyone stop this from happening when the “rotting parts” are still in charge of all actions, outcomes and spin? Prove Me Wrong…

    1. I heard an elder lady comparing her home to the church as both being black holes. Meaning, no matter how much money you pour in them, there is still room for more.

  7. Every Greek Orthodox Church should place their monthly assessments in escrow and pay them out only when the Arcdiocese publicly explains what has happened to our finances over the past fifteen years and what Mertropolises are in trouble financially

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