Skip to content
Search AI Powered

Latest Stories

Pennsylvania Priest Arrested For Allegedly Spending $40k Of Church Funds On 'Candy Crush'

Cleric using a smartphone; Candy Crush logo on smartphone screen
Eddie Gerald/GettyImages, Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Reverend Lawrence Kozak, a Catholic priest in Pennsylvania, was arrested after using a church credit card to fund his mobile gaming addiction.

A Pennsylvania Catholic priest was arrested on April 25, 2024, and officially charged with theft after spending more than $40,000 of church funds on mobile games.

The Philadelphia Enquirer reported that Reverend Lawrence Kozak of St. Thomas More church in Pottstown was arrested in 2022 for his alleged crimes of misappropriating funds.


For three years, he used parish credit cards to fuel his gaming addiction through in-app purchases to "power up"—or gain advantages—on mobile games like Candy Crush and Mario Kart Tour.

He was subsequently removed from his position and placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

On Thursday, the 51-year-old was officially charged with stealing from the church and other related crimes according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest..

He was released after posting $250,000 bail.

The investigation found that the church's accountant discovered "an astronomical amount of Apple transactions" on the parish's credit card statements during a review of the church's finances in 2022.

Their findings showed that the suspicious transactions began in September 2019, when Kozak had just joined the parish, and ended in July 2022, when he was caught and arrested.

Detectives found that Kozak's Apple ID was used to make the transactions.

They also discovered that Kozak's Amazon account had used the parish's credit card to make purchases including a backpack, an Amazon Fire tablet, and a children’s chemistry set.

The affidavit stated those items were sent to an address in Bensalem, where his goddaughter resides. The packages came with a note signed by “Uncle Larry.”

The jokes wrote themselves.






Users continued expressing shock.





Other financial records indicated Kozak paid $10,000 of the church's credit card balance with money from his own bank account.

He also sent an $8,000 check labeled “parish reimbursements” to his successor at St. Thomas More after he was removed from his position.

Kozak denied intentionally using the church funds to pay for all the gaming advantages. He explained that the cards were associated with his cellphone so he could use them to pay for church-authorized streaming services and Microsoft Office software.

However, he claimed he may have accidentally used the cards, chalking it up to him not being a "details guy."

Kozak admitted to detectives that he was “disappointed that he had let it get to this point,” adding there was “no excuse, except that he wasn’t paying attention and should have been.”

More from Popular

yellow smiley face balloons
Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

People Explain Which Things Massively Improved Their Mental Health

It wasn't that long ago that mental health was only spoken of in hushed whispers due to ignorance and stigma.

But with education and awareness efforts, more people are paying attention to their own mental health and that of the people they care about.

Keep ReadingShow less

People Who Turned Down A Marriage Proposal Explain Why They Said 'No'


Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of J.D. Vance
C-SPAN

JD Vance Got Laughs With A Cringey 'Political Violence' Joke During His RNC Speech

Former President Donald Trump's running mate J.D. Vance was criticized for appearing to make light of the recent assassination attempt on Trump's life during his speech accepting the vice presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention.

At one point, Vance joked about "political violence" between Ohio and Michigan supporters while discussing some of his life experiences before officially starting his political career with a successful 2022 Senate campaign.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshots of Kamala Harris and J.D. Vance
C-SPAN; NBC News

Kamala Harris Calls Out JD Vance For 'What He Didn't Say' During RNC Speech In Epic Takedown

In a fiery speech to supporters in North Carolina, Vice President Kamala Harris called out what J.D. Vance—former President Donald Trump's freshly selected running mate—"didn't say" in his speech accepting the VP nomination on Night 3 of the Republican National Convention.

Amid much talk about key conservative issues like immigration, the ongoing border crisis, and "law and order," he did not once mention what the GOP has explicitly laid out and is now attempting to distance itself from: Project 2025.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of Daniel Dale; Donald Trump
CNN; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

CNN Fact-Checker Debunks Trump's RNC Speech Lies For 2 Minutes Straight—And Yeah, It's A Lot

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale debunked lies former President Donald Trump told during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, dedicating two minutes to picking apart Trump's many falsehoods.

Trump made numerous oddball remarks during his speech, particularly his reference that the world was "at peace" when he was in office until his political opponents "turned it into a planet of war," declaring that the planet is now "blowing up around us" due to Democratic policies.

Keep ReadingShow less