This is absolutely sickening. (WTAQ 2/13/10)
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee says the transfer of $75 million over the last six years wasn't an effort to shield its assets from sex abuse settlements.
The families of sex abuse victims implied moving the money was something like a shell game during a bankruptcy hearing before a federal trustee. An attorney for the victims also asked about another $55 million put into a trust a year after the Wisconsin Supreme Court opened the door for victims to sue the archdiocese.
A spokesperson for the church denies the allegations, saying it has been liquidating all non-essential assets for years to help pay the costs of therapy and voluntary settlements. The spokesperson says the archdiocese had been holding the $75 million for local parishes in an investment account, then returned it when it quit offering those services.
The church says it only has $7 million available for settlements, but the families of victims apparently intend to challenge that figure.
Enormous money transfers like these are what you would expect from corporations evading taxes through offshore scams. This definitely should result in a criminal investigation.
By the way, there is a NYC angle to this story. Current NYC Archbishop Timothy Dolan was in charge of that subsidiary of the Roman Catholic Church when those incredibly suspicious money transfers took place. If the Roman Catholic Church were an accountable organization, Dolan already would have been forced to resign. However, it's far more likely that Ratzi or a future pontiff will make the scumbag into a "saint."