Ex-church official charged in alleged scam – Metro US

Ex-church official charged in alleged scam

The former vice-president of a Toronto church caught up in a multimillion-dollar charity fundraising scheme has been criminally charged by police.

George Babiolakis, 52, of Unionville was a senior official at the All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in north Toronto.

The church, which typically issued $7,000 in charitable receipts each year, hooked up with a tax-shelter company and over a recent five-year period issued $273 million in tax receipts.

The firm encour­aged people to make donations for relief efforts and in return would issue tax receipts for a greater value. Three thousand people donated; many have had their tax credits cancelled.

A probe by the Toronto Star in April showed the scheme was discovered when a new board of directors took over at All Saints. Babiolakis left office last December.

The board complained to police in the summer.

In court
  • Babiolakis, an international shipper by trade, will appear in court in January.