GREENBELT, Md. (WJZ) — A federal grand jury has indicted Kenneth Patrick Gaughan, 40, of Washington, D.C., on mail fraud charges coming from a scheme to embezzle funds from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.
Gaughan was employed at the archdiocese as assistant superintendent.
According to the three-count indictment, Gaughan was employed as the assistant superintendent of ADW, headquartered in Hyattsville, Md.
Gaughan was responsible for recruiting and acting as the point of contact for contractors who provided services to ADW, including contractors that could help ADW implement anti-bullying, crisis intervention and professional development programs at around 95 Catholic schools overseen by the archdiocese.
These schools were in Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s Counties in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Gaughan also obtained invoices for services from contractors and provided those invoices, along with requests for payment and supporting documentation to his superiors for approval.
The indictment alleges that beginning in at least June 2010 and continuing through April 2018, Gaughan caused ADW to pay invoices manufactured by Gaughan purportedly for anti-bullying and crisis prevention and also software used to send mass text messages to ADW’s students and families.
Gaughan allegedly incorporated two companies using names that were almost identical to those of real companies and opened bank accounts in the names of those companies. Gaughan also opened a bank account in the name of a third company, which was an unlicensed entity in D.C.
According to the indictment, Gaughan then transmitted fraudulent invoices and persuaded ADW to issue checks for services that Gaughan knew the companies did not provide.
Gaughan allegedly opened virtual and private mailboxes to receive the checks that ADW issued to pay for the fraudulent invoices that Gaughan manufactured and transmitted to ADW officials.
The indictment alleges that Gaughan deposited the checks issued by ADW into the bank accounts he controlled and converted the money to his personal use.
The indictment details three invoices paid from September 2016 to April 2018, totaling almost $45,000.
If convicted, Gaughan faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of three counts of mail fraud.
His initial appearance Wednesday in Greenbelt. He was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.