A Catholic priest from Boston has confessed to spending $1.3 million of church funds on various cryptocurrencies, claiming that he was tempted by the devil.
Father John O’Malley, 54, admitted that he had been secretly buying and selling Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other digital coins since 2019, using the money that was donated by the parishioners for charitable purposes.
He stated that he was lured by the promise of easy profits and financial freedom, and that he became addicted to the thrill of trading. Father O’Malley also confessed that he was influenced by the online community of crypto enthusiasts, who he described as “false prophets”.
“I was deceived by the evil one, who made me believe that I could multiply the Lord’s money and use it for good. But I was really serving Mammon, the god of greed and wealth. I repent of my sins and ask for forgiveness,” he declared.
The priest’s scheme was exposed when the church accountant noticed some discrepancies in the financial records and alerted the authorities. The police raided the priest’s residence and seized his laptop, his smartphone, and his hardware wallet, which contained the crypto assets.
The priest is facing charges of embezzlement, fraud, and tax evasion. He is also facing excommunication from the church, which considers the use of cryptocurrencies as immoral and contrary to the Christian faith.
The church has issued an apology to the parishioners and the public, and promised to recover the lost funds and to donate them to the poor.
The church has also warned its members to beware of the dangers of cryptocurrencies, and to follow the teachings of the Bible, which says: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)