Attorney Steven Gustafson of Naperville, Ill. is facing a theft and fraud charges, but it may take longer for him to live down one of the more intriguing allegations in the criminal case: he tried to hit up a priest to help cover up money that he allegedly stole from a trust fund. Remarkably, the priest refused church funds but convinced a parishioner to pony up some of the cash.
Gustafson is charged with taking as much as $500,000 as well as forgery and other crimes. He is charged with misusing more than $1 million in fund and asked the priest to give him $577,000 in church funds. The priest convinced a parishioner to offer $77,000.
His firm, James, Gustafson & Thompson, dissolved in 2006.
Growing up, I rarely thought of making a pitch for cash loans during confessions. This, it would seem, falls into rendering unto Caesar.
Of course, Gustafson was allegedly thinking small. In Louisiana, James Perdigao, a gambling-law specialist admitted stealing $20 million from his former law firm, Adams and Reese. He also claimed that prosecutors were bribed by his former client, Bobby Guidry, the government’s star witness against former Gov. Edwin Edwards. He claimed the prosecutors ignored the evidence to protect the case against Edwards.
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