A former church treasurer who admitted to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his Knoxville church has begun his jail sentence.

Constantine Dimitri Christodoulou pleaded guilty earlier this month to stealing more than $400,000 from Saint George Orthodox Church.

Under the plea agreement, Dimitri Christodoulou must serve one year in jail with the remainder of the sentence under state probation. He also has to pay back the $224,675 restitution still owed to the church.

Records show Christodoulou reported to jail on Friday.

Christodoulou, 48, served as treasurer for Saint George Greek Orthodox Church from December 2010 to February 2015. According to the Knox County District Attorney General's Office, Christodoulou wrote checks to himself from church accounts that were not authorized by the church.

Within weeks after the thefts were made public, the church suffered another major setback: a fire on early April 12, 2015 - Orthodox Easter - that heavily damaged the sanctuary.

The church had planned to install a smoke alarm in the sanctuary but was warned by the treasurer it was too costly, according to members.

St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Knoxville
St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Knoxville