A Utica based church, its archbishop and another man have all been indicted on criminal charges from fraud to grand larceny. YNN's Andrew Sorensen has the latest in the case of the Italo-Greek Church, which is allegedly on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
UTICA, N.Y. -- Archbishop Stephen Enea is the first of three to be formally arraigned with counsel this week. He, Phillip Barker Jr. and the Italo-Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of the Americas and Canada are all facing ten criminal counts in Oneida County Court.
The indictment against them alleges they wrote bad checks totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to several companies. The indictment isn't clear about how much they owe and that may not be clear until the discovery portion of the trial is over.
All three are also charged with one count of second degree grand larceny, four counts of third degree grand larceny and one count of first degree scheme to defraud, all allegedly committed against five different companies from 2010 to 2011.
The church was ordered closed in 2012.
Enea declined to comment on the charges.
Enea's lawyer also wouldn't comment, except to say the church had fallen into disrepair. He wouldn't say if that had anything to do with the charges, but the companies listed in the indictment are architects, excavators and contractors.
The Utica Observer Dispatch reported last week that the church's funding had dropped out for nearly $500,000 in repairs.
Enea was offered an unspecified plea deal. The other two parties have yet to be fully arraigned.
The church's archbishop is due back September 5th to accept or reject the plea offer.