Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Priest: "I was selfish...I stole $573,000 that did not belong to me"

by Gary Snyder

A priest who pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with stealing $573,000 from St. Thomas More Parish in Troy (MI) was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

The government said Rev Ed Belczak “took what he pleased” from the parish to buy a Florida condominium and invest in stocks. 

According to federal prosecutors, he created false annual financial reports that were mailed to the Archdiocese of Detroit that concealed his theft.

Belczak pleaded guilty in September to mail fraud in the embezzlement scheme. 

It was an orchestrated scheme perpetrated over time to defraud the people he claimed to serve.

Now that the court case has ended, the archdiocese will resume proceedings under canon (church) law against Belczak.

In a related case, Janice Verschuren, the former office manager at St. Thomas More, pleaded guilty last month to stealing more than $25,000 from the parish, according to the Archdiocese of Detroit. She will be sentenced next year.


Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. 
Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Charity Navigator, Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio (NPR), Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), “Betrayal”, (a movie), NBC (on Charity Fraud…TBD), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Marie Claire, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, Board Room Insider, USA Today Topics, Accountants News,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times, Portfolio Magazine, The Virgin Islands Daily News, NANKAI (China) BUSINESS REVIEW, National Religious Broadcasters newsletter, The Charity Governance Blog, American Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, Nonprofit World, Socially Responsible Business Forum, PNNOnline, Ohio Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, Nonprofit Startup Guide, Nonprofit Blog, National Coalition of Homeless Newsletter, Finance and Administration Roundtable Newsletter,, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit,, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner,, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today,, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization),, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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