Skip to content


Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

Abbot of German monastery allegedly laundered millions

A Benedictine abbey in Germany’s southern state of Baden Württemberg has discovered a secret fortune amassed by the former spiritual head of the monastery.

Norbert Stoffels was abbot of Nereseheim Abbey from 1977 until he died in 2012.

His successor, Father Albert Knebel, said over the weekend he found an estate left by Abbot Norbert worth $5 million.

“The fortune was neither registered on the abbey’s accounts, nor was anyone in the administration or any of my fellow brothers aware of its existence,” Father Knebel said in a statement.

“Our foremost concern is to find out where this money comes from,” Knebel said.

Neresheim Abbey dates back to the 11th Century.

Prosecutors in Krefeld in northern Germany said they had opened an investigation on suspicion the cash stemmed from a money-laundering operation, the UK Independent said.

In March this year, the Catholic Bishop of Limburg resigned after reports that he spent $38 million renovating his official residence. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst became known as the “bishop of bling.”

At Neresheim Abbey, Father Knebel said, “My fellow monks are not interested in the money and it was never included in the abbey’s finances.”

“We don’t know where the money came from or how it got there,” Father Knebel said.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

Share this post


1 Comment

  1. Raising concerns of Money Laundering, or any other crime, before there is reasonable incriminating evidence is unfair. This article does not provide provide any reasons other than the origin of the money is unknown. This father, dead today, deserves the credit of doubt to say the least.

Comments are closed for this article!