Former Wauwatosa priest pleads not guilty to embezzlement charges

Aug. 27, 2014

Former Wauwatosa priest James Dokos pleaded not guilty Tuesday, Aug. 26, to a charge of felony theft. He is accused of embezzling more than $110,000 from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.

Dokos, 62, is now a Chicago resident. If found guilty, he could see up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

The criminal complaint in the case says Dokos inappropriately spent money from a church trust fund he was given control over between August 2008 and October 2012, using funds to pay his credit card bill and writing several checks from the fund to himself and family members.

According to the complaint, Dokos had been made trustee of the account after the deaths of both funders of the trust, Ervin and Margaret Franczak.

Dokos, of Brookfield, allegedly spent $20,000 from the trust fund at upper-end restaurants (including regular visits to Fleming's Steakhouse in Brookfield), $5,000 on jewelry, and thousands more on trips, high-end shopping and bills.

Tuesday wasn't the first time Dokos defended himself, according to the complaint. In 2013, when church officials who thought the trust account was empty realized Dokos had used it to pay an insurance bill, they asked Dokos for a copy of the trust, canceled checks and tax returns. Dokos allegedly replied, via email, "I STOLE NO MONEY."

Dokos is due back in court Dec. 16.

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