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Archdiocese Finds Theft During Audit

BALTIMORE - During a recent routine audit and subsequent investigation, the Archdiocese of Baltimore discovered that Victor Puotinen, an employee of the Basilica of the Assumption parish and previously of the Archdiocesan Central Services, had stolen $443,000.

The audit and investigation revealed that Puotinen embezzled funds over a three-year period. The Archdiocese has put in place new safeguards to protect against future thefts - including reconciling accounts daily.

The loss is substantially covered by insurance. All contributions previously made to campaigns will be used for their stated purpose.

When the theft was discovered, Puotinen's employment was immediately terminated. Upon completing an internal investigation, the Archdiocese turned the matter over to the States Attorney's office for prosecution.