A former official with a Catholic missionary organization has agreed to pay the charity $869,000 to settle a civil claim over suspected theft, the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press write. The Lay Mission-Helpers Association sued ex-development director Charles T. Sebesta and his assistant, Christine Lynn Rowe, earlier this year, alleging fraud and embezzlement.
According to the suit, Mr. Sebesta and Ms. Rowe diverted nearly $180,000 in charity funds to themselves, using fake email accounts and invoices and a bank account set up in the name of Mr. Sebesta's son. The pair were arrested in May on charges of grand theft. They have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. The association provides educational, health, and other services to people in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the South Pacific.