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'It really was just gut-wrenching’: Brunswick’s St. Ambrose reeling after $1.7M hacking heist from building fund

A joyous renovation celebration on Easter. One week later, devastating news about the money to pay for it.
Updated: Apr. 29, 2019 at 4:54 PM EDT
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BRUNSWICK, OH (WOIO) - Church bells tolling intermixed with the sound of construction equipment outside of St. Ambrose in Brunswick on Monday.

Inside the newly-remodeled and expanded church was ample evidence of what can happen when people work together.

The main sanctuary was closed the day after Christmas. It reopened on Easter, a joyous celebration.

One week later, the devastating news was delivered: “We were paying our bills. At some point somebody was able to get into our email system and in the course of that, changed the routing numbers for the wire transfers.” said Father Bob Stec, the parish’s Pastor.

All the proper notifications were made immediately to police, the Diocese and FBI. Not wanting to spoil the long anticipated opening on Easter, Father Stec waited a week before announcing what had happened.

“It really was just gut-wrenching for me, and what has laid heaviest on my heart is these are really, really, really good people that have done something amazing for God here and for the good of this community.” added the Catholic Priest.

Some 7,000 people attended on Easter. Clearly, it is a large blow to all involved far more than financially.

“It’s about five and a half million to do all the things we’ve done here.” said Stec.

The FBI is working the case to see if it can trace where the hack came from. The Church is now paying it’s bills using paper checks.

The Diocese and church are seeking insurance as an avenue for getting the money back.

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