Processing of the financial scandal drags on

Eichstätt diocese still waiting for millions in repayment from USA

Eichstätt - In connection with its financial scandal, the diocese of Eichstätt was to receive around 18 million dollars from the USA by summer 2023. However, only 13 million dollars were received. A compulsory execution is now being examined.

Published  on 18.10.2023 at 10:26  – 

The investigation of the financial scandal in the diocese of Eichstätt is dragging on. According to a report in the Ingolstadt daily "Donaukurier" (Wednesday), this applies to the financial damage limitation as well as to the judiciary's involvement with the events. A year ago, the diocese informed about an out-of-court settlement with a project developer in the USA. This amounted to a total of about 18 million dollars. According to a diocese spokesperson, only 13 million dollars had been received by the end of September. A compulsory execution is now being examined. This is the last option in the settlement.

More than a year ago, the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office II brought charges against four persons, among others for embezzlement and corruptibility. Among the accused is a former senior employee of the diocese who denies the charges. The competent Munich II Regional Court confirmed to the Catholic News Agency (KNA) that no decision had yet been made on whether to admit the charges. Thus it is still open whether a trial will take place at all.

The case concerns investments from Eichstätt diocesan assets in US real estate projects between 2014 and 2016, in which reserves of almost 60 million US dollars were invested at high risk. Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke made the scandal public at the beginning of 2018. In the summer before, he had called in external auditors and lawyers and filed charges. At times, the bishop himself was also targeted by investigators. As a direct result of the scandal, the diocese revised its investment guidelines. In the meantime, external service providers take care of the investments. Excluding the outstanding balance from the settlement, the diocese says it has so far recovered about 32 of the 60 million dollars. (KNA)