A Catholic priest received a sentence up to 3 years and a month in prison by a federal court. The 59 year old priest, Monsignor Kevin McAuliffe has been accused of stealing funds worth $650,000 from his parish in Las Vegas. The accused committed the crime to fund his gambling activities. When the federal judge pronounced the sentence on McAuliffe, the court-room packed with his supporters broke into tears.
Defense Attorney Pleaded with Judge to let Monsignor continue as Priest
Margaret Stanish, the defense attorney, pleaded with the judge to let Monsignor continue as priest and get counseling to get rid of his gambling addiction simultaneously. However, the judge refused to make special considerations for Monsignor’s case. Rather, four months were added to the sentence which Deputy U.S. Attorney Christina Brown had recommended. Christina Brown stated that there is no reason why Monsignor should be excused for his actions. He could get up to 60 years of imprisonment.
Monsignor Controlled Church Activities for 8 Years
Monsignor was in full control of activities related to the church for 8 years between 2002 and 2010. It was not difficult for him steal money as Monsignor was a signatory of statements on financial transactions to San Francisco’s Catholic Archdiocese and Diocese of Las Vegas.
Defendant gave Various Explanations to FBI Last Year
Monsignor was grilled by the FBI last year for 2 hours. During the confrontation, the accused gave various explanations regarding how his gambling activities were supported by his own earnings. FBI was not convinced with the explanations offered by the priest and asked whether he stole the church’s money. Monsignor denied it completely.
Monsignor pleaded guilty in a federal court in October 2011. He was removed from his position as a pastor of a Las Vegas congregation.