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Bookkeeper accused of defrauding Nova Scotia church of more than $250,000

St. Anselm’s Church is seen in West Chezzetcook, N.S., in June 2019. St. Anselm’s Church is seen in West Chezzetcook, N.S., in June 2019.

A Nova Scotia woman is facing multiple charges after she allegedly defrauded a Catholic church of more than $250,000 over a 12-year period.

Police say the woman was the church’s bookkeeper at the time.

The RCMP first received a complaint from the public about financial irregularities at the church in West Chezzetcook, N.S., on July 26 2019.

Police say the complaint prompted the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth to conduct its own internal investigation. The archdiocese sent its findings to police in December 2020.

An investigation by the RCMP determined the bookkeeper had allegedly defrauded the church of more than $250,000 between July 2008 and January 2020.

“The woman used her position as the parish’s bookkeeper to access funds from the parish’s bank accounts for personal use and established recurring payments made to various establishments offering products and services within Nova Scotia,” said the RCMP in a news release.

Police arrested 47-year-old Patricia Dixon of East Chezzetcook, N.S., on March 17.

Dixon is facing the following charges:

  • fraud over $5,000 (three counts)
  • possession of property obtained by crime (three counts)
  • trafficking in identity information
  • identity fraud
  • falsification of books and documents
  • uttering forged documents

Dixon was released from custody on a notice to appear in Dartmouth provincial court on May 3, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

Police say they are still gathering information and evidence in connection with the investigation, which is ongoing.


Police have not identified the church, but the only Catholic church in West Chezzetcook is St. Anselm’s, which closed in November 2018 due to mould at the site.

The archdiocese announced in June 2019 that the church in the Acadian community would remain closed permanently.

At the time, parishioners told CTV News they were told the church owed the archdiocese nearly $800,000 -- a claim they dispute, as they say the church really belongs to the community.

Acadians built the brick church in 1894. Top Stories

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