Priest arrested for spending £32,000 of church money on Candy Crush

Those microtransactions add up (Picture: Twitter)

A priest has been charged with theft after his church found ‘astronomical amount of Apple transactions’, allegedly used for Candy Crush perks.

Microtransactions have been the norm in video games for years now, whether it’s mobile games or console titles like Fortnite or EA Sports FC 24, and can develop some terrible habits that can quickly empty your wallet.

That’s what happened when a Catholic priest allegedly spent more than $40,000 (£32,000) of his church’s money on expenses such as in-game microtransactions in Candy Crush and Mario Kart Tour.

The priest has now been arrested and charged by Chester County prosecutors in Philadelphia, for theft and related crimes that took place over three years.

The accused is Reverend Lawrence Kozak, 51, who was removed from his position at the church in 2022, after an accountant reviewed the church’s finances.

The accountant found ‘an astronomical amount of Apple transactions’ in credit card statements linked to the church, according to The Philadelphia Enquirer.

The Apple ID was registered to Kozak, and the purchases in question had been ongoing from 2019, up until he was removed in 2022.

When Kozak was interviewed by police, he said he was seeking counselling for his addiction to playing and spending money on games. He also stated that it wasn’t for gambling, but to ‘power up’ in the games he was playing.

Kozak denied using the church’s credit cards intentionally, saying the credit cards were connected to his phone for legitimate purchases for the church, but said it was possible he used them accidentally.

Investigators learned that the former priest had later sent $8,000 (£6,400) back to the church, labelled ‘parish reimbursements.’

More Trending

Read More Stories

The unusual spending had been noticed by the church’s business manager too, who had at one point warned Kozak about mixing the church’s expenses with his own.

Kozak apologised to the new priest of the church, saying he ‘made a mistake’ and has since been paying back the money he owes the church.

Email gamecentral@metro.co.uk, leave a comment below, follow us on Twitter, and sign-up to our newsletter.


MORE : Fallout will never be set anywhere but America says Bethesda boss Todd Howard


MORE : Gaming sales are down ‘a lot’ says AMD as PS5 and Xbox demand drops further


MORE : Zelda director wants to make ‘grounded’ movie with less motion capture

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk

To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *