Vatopedi Monastery, located in Greece, belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The monastery was involved in controversial real estate dealings with the Greek state. In October of 2009 the monastery’s abbot, Efraim Koutsou, was convicted by a Greek court of instigating the decision of a judge to delay publishing a 2004 ruling against the monastery in a property dispute with the state. He was given a 15 month suspended sentence, but was acquitted in 2012.
Koutsou and the monastery’s chief monk, Father Arsenios, were given 10-month suspended jail sentences for being moral accomplices to a breach of duty by an appeals court in Thrace in December, 2010. The monks had been accused of colluding with Maria Psalti, the former judge of a first instance court in Rhodope, northern Greece, where tracts of land involved in the swap are located. Both were acquitted in 2017.