Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Priest who stole money gets 27 months in prison

02 December 2015, 14:50

Detroit — A Detroit-area Roman Catholic priest who said he "stained" his profession by embezzling more than $500,000 was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in prison.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow rejected a light sentence sought by the Rev. Ed Belczak, but the punishment was shorter than the three years in prison recommended by prosecutors.

The government said Belczak "took what he pleased" from St. Thomas More Church in Troy to buy a Florida condominium from his parish manager and invest in stocks. Much of the $573,000 came from a deceased parishoner's bequest to the church.

"Father Belczak's crime was not an isolated incident or a momentary lapse of judgment, but an orchestrated scheme perpetrated over time to defraud the people he claimed to serve," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said.

Belczak and his supporters had hoped they could persuade the judge to keep him out of prison, saying his crime shouldn't overshadow years of good work. Defense attorney Jerome Sabbota said running the large parish was stressful.

"I have stained the reputation of being a priest," Belczak said in court.

He was removed from St. Thomas More in 2013 after an audit raised questions about finances.

Church manager Janice Verschuren was charged with fraud and conspiracy. She pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in October, admitting she kept her divorced husband on the church's health insurance at a cost of $26,000. She will be sentenced Jan. 21.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- AP


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...