Collared: Catholic Priests Arrested for Stealing As Much As $2 Million From Church Donations

collection plateTwo Roman Catholic priests — Fr. John Skehan, 81, and Fr. Francis Guinan, 66, have been accused of an astonishing criminal enterprise — stealing between $800,000 and $2 million from Church funds at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, in West Palm Beach. Shekan has withdrawn his not guilty plea and admitted the theft (tough insists that it was no more than $100,000) while Guinan continues to maintain his innocence. They allegedly stole the money to use on holidays and gambling.

What is interesting about the case is that most of the crimes are beyond the reach of prosecutors under the statute of limitations. The success of the criminal conspiracy was that it occurred over 20 years and presumably involved small amounts of money. The money was allegedly hidden in the church ceiling and offshore account. I guess the parishioners now know why Skehan beamed while staring up to the ceiling while speaking of our reward from up high.

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9 thoughts on “Collared: Catholic Priests Arrested for Stealing As Much As $2 Million From Church Donations”

  1. Its a shame when someone takes advantage of the trust that people place in them and abuses their position of responsibility. Churches, and other religious establishments, seem to fall prey to such schemes, often due to denial that one of their leaders or members would indulge greedy tendencies. It is wise for any business or establishment which manages a large amount of funds, to invest time into securing their finances, regardless of how much they trust their members or leaders. Weeds in the Garden is a service that seeks to protect churches from fraud by expertly assisting them in managing their finances.

  2. They needed the money to use on their trip with Rush Limbaugh to South America. The trip and the Viagara costs really added up!

  3. You are right…what was I even thinking?!?

    They do need to know what they can and cannot afford ahead of time!! Silly me!!

  4. Sally,

    They needed that info for their budget. How are they supposed to know which hotel at Vegas to book without some idea of what they’ll have to spend?

  5. When I was a practicing Catholic, I remember that at the beginning of the new year, the church would hand out papers that wanted to know how much you planned on giving that year. I always thought that it was not appropriate; it’s not anyone’s business how much someone gives to a church.

    Some of those priests live pretty high on the hog if you ask me.

    This is one of the many reasons that I am no longer a catholic

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