NEW YORK – Jerry Dimitriou, former Executive Director of Administration of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, was arrested on November 25, on charges of embezzlement and misuse of the Archdiocese credit card for personal use and expenses. Dimitriou was in charge of the administrative and financial affairs for 19 years before he was fired in 2017. He is expected to appear before a Judge in New York on Monday, November 25.
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Ruth M. Mendonca, the Assistant Inspector in Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), announced the arrest on wire fraud charges.
Specifically, Dimitriou is charged with committing two embezzlement schemes: In one, he allegedly embezzled more than $488,000 from Organization-1 by directing subordinates to issue him unauthorized excess salary payments; in the other, he allegedly charged hundreds of personal expenses to his Organization-1 credit card, without authorization, costing Organization-1 at least tens of thousands of dollars. Dimitriou will be presented today in federal court in the Southern District of New York before United States Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated: “As the executive director of a non-profit religious organization, Jerome Dimitriou was supposed to serve the organization, not himself. As alleged, over several years, he abused his leadership position and embezzled over half a million dollars through two different schemes. This Office is committed to protecting non-profit organizations from those who allegedly steal rather than serve.”
USPIS Assistant Inspector in Charge Ruth M. Mendonca said: “Mr. Dimitriou allegedly used his position of trust at a religious organization to steal from his employer. His undoing came when Postal Inspectors used their trusted and sworn law enforcement position to bring him to justice.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed today:
From in or around 2000 until late 2017, Jerome Dimitriou was the executive director of Organization-1. While serving as executive director, Dimitriou engaged in at least two separate, long-running embezzlement schemes. One of his fraud schemes involved his unauthorized use of an Organization-1 credit card to pay for at least hundreds of personal expenses. For instance, from in or around May 2011 through in or around September 2017, Dimitriou charged the following to his Organization-1 credit card: at least approximately 204 charges for airline travel with his family (who were not employed by Organization-1); at least approximately 552 iTunes charges; at least approximately 71 charges for a gym membership at David Barton Gym; and at least approximately 44 retail charges, including at such stores as Sears, Home Depot, CVS, Duane Reade, Walgreens, and Vitamin Shoppe. The value of the airline travel with his family, for instance, was at least approximately $61,286.20.
Another of Dimitriou’s fraud schemes involved directing subordinates to issue him excess salary and paychecks, over many years, without the authorization or approval of Organization-1. During just 2013 through September 2017, for instance, the total value of these excess salary and paychecks was at least approximately $488,290. During the period of Dimitriou’s embezzlement schemes, Organization-1 was enduring financial difficulties, a fact of which DIMITRIOU was well aware.
Dimitriou, 55, of Greenlawn, New York, is charged with two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised USPIS for its outstanding work on this case and noted that the investigation is ongoing.
This matter is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Neff and Michael C. McGinnis are in charge of the prosecution.