GLENVIEW — A Glenview priest was charged Wednesday with embezzling more than $100,000 from a Wisconsin church he presided over.
James Dokos Jr., 62, of Chicago, faces one count of theft-embezzlement of more than $10,000 from 2008 to 2012, according to a criminal filing with the Milwaukee County District Attorney.
In June, Dokos was suspended from Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church, 1401 Wagner Road, Glenview.
His former church was Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, Wis., where he allegedly spent church money on jewelry for his wife, expensive shopping and restaurants and everyday bills.
“The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago has learned of the decision of the Milwaukee District Attorney to move forward. We will continue to cooperate with the District Attorney’s office,” said the church’s publicist Kevin Lampe in a June 26 email.
The criminal complaint stated the church’s parish council uncovered the theft in 2013, months after Dokos transferred to Saints Peter & Paul Church.
The complaint also stated he diverted church funds from a couple’s trust meant for constructing a cultural center at the Wisconsin church.
Ervin and Margaret Franczak created the trust in 1984, and in 2004 Margaret named Dokos her successor to the trust.
After Margaret’s death in 2008, Dokos was to get $5,000, a car and property in the trust.
However, Dokos gave $1.1 million to the church, but the district attorney’s investigation found money remained in the trust.
Dokos also changed the address on the trust’s bank account to his home in 2008.
In replying to church officials’ requesting a copy of the trust and Dokos’ financial transactions, he wrote “I STOLE NO MONEY… .”
Metropolitan Lakkovos, who leads Greek Othordox parishes in the Midwest and represents the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, stated in a June 22 letter to church members that Rev. Nick Greanias will serve the Glenview church.
“As soon as possible … we look forward to a meeting of our Chancellor with the Parish Council at our Metropolis Offices to discuss the future of our beloved Parish in Glenview, Illinois, and the assignment of a new Parish Priest,” he wrote.