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Christian School Administrator Charged with Embezzling nearly $600K, Spending Funds on Vacations and In-Vitro Treatments

A senior administrator at a Christian school in Pennsylvania has been charged with embezzling nearly $600,000 and using the money for personal expenses, including family vacations and in-vitro fertilization medical treatments.

Katherine Paprocka

Katherine Paprocka, 36, of Paoli, Pennsylvania, was arrested last week on 29 felony counts and other charges related to the alleged theft of more than $579,651 from Penn Christian Academy in East Norriton, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said.

A joint investigation by the East Norriton Police and Montgomery County Detective Bureau found that Paprocka had allegedly assumed the identities of multiple school employees and volunteers to obtain credit cards in their names, claimed to be the majority owner of the non-profit school to secure payroll funding, and mismanaged hundreds of thousands of dollars that belonged to Penn Christian Academy.

Paprocka was employed as the senior administrator at the private, non-profit school from July 2020 to December 2021.

The investigation found that Paprocka used more than half a million dollars of the stolen funds for family vacations in London, New York, and Florida, as well as rental property payments, car rentals, clothing purchases, restaurant meals, Amazon purchases, and payments for in-vitro fertilization treatments.

Paprocka has denied the accusations against her, and her lawyer told CBS Philadelphia that Paprocka “looks forward to telling her side of the story” and “categorically denies” stealing any money from Penn Christian Academy.

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According to the DA’s office, the investigation began when East Norriton Police were contacted by a school donor who shared documents from a private inquiry into funding irregularities that showed regular payments to a crowdfunding platform as well as to three other small-business lenders that help organizations that don’t qualify for traditional bank financing.

Loans with all four lenders were electronically signed by Paprocka and listed her as the “senior administrator and owner” or “executive director and owner” of Penn Christian Academy, which as a non-profit educational institution does not have owners.

Documents showed that more than $62,000 had been paid by the school to Paprocka’s American Express account, and when the school’s board requested details about the expenses, Paprocka only submitted approximately $12,000 in school-related expenses.

“This non-profit school was defrauded and taken advantage of by someone they trusted as an administrator,” said District Attorney Kevin Steele. “This is a reminder that every nonprofit organization needs to have checks on any employee who has access to its funds so more than one person has control and oversight of the monetary activity.”

Paprocka is charged with multiple felony counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, forgery, theft by deception, theft of services, deceptive or fraudulent business practices, and other related charges. She is set to make her first court appearance Dec. 19.

Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.