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.

(source)

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