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Priest defrauds the unemployed

Along with a 45 and a 40 year old accomplices, a 30 year old priest is accused of masterminding a scam to pocket thousands of euros from unsuspecting unemployed people.

According to police reports, the priest founded an employment company in the northern Greek city of Kavala in 2009, promising hundreds of desperate people jobs both in Greece and abroad. This way, the priest managed to extort around 78,000 euros from a total of 166 unemployed people.

The success of the scheme was so big, that the three men gang established a second company last March. According to evidence gathered by the police, the priest collected 36,000 euros from 49 people by the primary company and 42,000 euros from 117 people by the second one.

The police commanding officer explained how the alleged fraud was perpetrated. The priest was asking interested parties for a CV and their signature on a supposed contract. The initial fee was 100 euros and an additional 492 euros were required on signing of the contract. The money was deposited in third persons' accounts via authorizations obtained by the gang.

Evidence gathered by the police include the case of four individuals who migrated to Germany after assurances by the gang they would get work, only to be rejected by the prospected employers, on the ground of inadequate qualification and visa problems. Another case involves Albanian citizens who gave away 6,300 euros o the gang members.

Interestingly enough, the accused priest was allegedly no novice to crime. Just last August, after having just been ordained, he was arrested for a similar case, accused of extorting 132,000 euros in 2008. The priest was brought to justice and was released on probation pending a court date.