Written by Adelle Loiselle
The case of a Windsor-area priest charged after a routine audit of his former parish turned up financial irregularities has appeared before a judge for the first time.
Provincial police charged 49-year-old Father Robert Couture with theft over $5,000 after a 2010 audit red-flagged $180,000 in irregularities at Ste.Anne Parish in Tecumseh. The Diocese of London said the audit was regular practice when a priest leaves a parish.
Couture, who was not in Ontario provincial court Tuesday, is accused of charging unusual expenses to the parish and of keeping a bank account in the parish’s name unbeknownst to the Diocese. Insurance has since recovered $169,000.
The case returns in three weeks giving Couture’s lawyer time to review the evidence.