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Priest Sentenced to Nearly Eight Years for Embezzlement

The federal court also ordered nearly $260,000 in restitution payments and $46,000 in back taxes.

South Dakota

Key point 7-21. Embezzlement refers to the wrongful conversion of funds that are lawfully in one’s possession. Embezzlement is a common occurrence in churches because of weak internal controls.

A federal district court in South Dakota sentenced a priest to nearly eight years in prison. The court also ordered the priest to pay nearly $260,000 in restitution to three churches and $46,000 in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as a result of his embezzlement.


A Catholic priest in South Dakota devised a scheme to steal cash collected from parishioners by secretly entering the areas in three parish churches where weekly donations were stored. The priest entered the church buildings late in the evening, removing and replacing special, tamper-proof bank bags, and making multiple same-day deposits totaling tens of thousands of dollars of stolen cash donations in a personal ...

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  • October 27, 2021

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