Priest faces charges for stealing from charity

After being criminally charged in February, a Michigan priest was scheduled to stand trial on Sept. 29. The 58-year-old man received theft charges after he was accused of conspiring with a 35-year-old woman to steal money from a charitable fund. The pair allegedly embezzled money that was intended to go toward helping impoverished residents of Highland Park, Hamtramck and Detroit.

According to the Wayne County prosecutor's office, the man and woman worked together to approve fraudulent applications for charitable donations from the Angel Fund. Over a four-year period, the pair would keep money from the fund for their own personal expenses. Since 2005, the Angel Fund has provided more than $17 million to people in need. The Archdiocese of Detroit is responsible for administrating the charitable fund.

Following allegations that she lied and embezzled, the accused man's alleged partner in the scheme pleaded no contest to her charges on Sept. 15. Reports indicate that she will most likely not receive a jail sentence. It is unclear what type of sentence the priest may face if he is convicted of embezzlement in Circuit Court.

In some cases, incidents of alleged embezzlement and theft can be explained by simple accounting errors. When a person learns that they have become the subject of a theft investigation, it may be prudent to determine what specific errors might have led to the criminal inquiry. A criminal defense attorney could help an individual who is being investigated for theft by determining where the questions of criminal activity exist. The attorney may then gather evidence to prove that the activities were not intentional and work to prevent further accounting errors from taking place.

Source: FOX 28, " Priest scheduled for trial next week in theft", September 23, 2014