Christianity

Houston woman charged with defrauding Catholic mission

A 38-year-old Houston woman has been arrested on multiple charges of defrauding more than $1.1 million from a Catholic mission that supports schools in Mexico and Colombia.

Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez says Rosina Blanco worked as a bookkeeper beginning in 2014 for the Basilian Father's Missions of the Catholic Church, based in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, and fraudulently authorized electronic transfers from the mission account to accounts in her name.

Prosecutors say Blanco used the money for jewelry, furniture, luxury items and cars, real estate and services for her dog.

The Basilian Catholic priests order, based in Toronto, receives money from sources including individual mail solicitations, mission offerings and from the Congregation of St. Basil in Canada.

Blanco was to make an initial court appearance Friday.