The former director of accounting services for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was charged Friday with stealing more than $670,000 to pay for his credit cards and children's private school tuition.

Scott J. Domeier, 50, of Cottage Grove, instructed employees in the accounting department to draft checks. He then signed them and spent them, according to charges filed in Ramsey County District Court.

Domeier faces seven counts of theft by swindle. He was booked into the county jail Friday.

According to the complaint: Domeier worked for the Archdiocese from 1995 until he was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 3 for accepting first-class airline tickets to Hawaii from a vendor, and misusing an Archdiocese credit card issued to him.

Those suspicions led the Archdiocese and St. Paul police to Domeier's other alleged misappropriations.

Domeier used the credit card in 2009 to pay for repairs on a car he said belonged to the Archdiocese. An investigation showed that Domeier diverted a $4,735 Hurricane Katrina relief check bound for another parish to pay for the car, the complaint said.

Church records made it appear as if that parish had purchased the car, charges said.

The Archdiocese hired a forensic accounting firm to examine its finances. The firm found that Domeier stole more than $670,000, the complaint said.

He allegedly used the money to pay balances on his credit card, pay for private school tuition for his children, and other personal expenses.

Domeier had other staffers pencil in memo lines with expense categories that would not cause alarm, such as "priest support."

The Archdiocese released a statement Friday stating that an independent forensic audit showed a loss of $770,000 over eight years. The amount Domeier is charged with allegedly stealing is less due to a statute of limitations.

The statement read, in part, "... this matter will not affect the Archdiocese's ability to meet its financial obligations or other responsibilities, including those to parishes, schools and employees."

Insurers will cover all of the loss, the statement said.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib