South Florida Catholic priest pled guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. JusticeNewsFlash.com news stories for Palm Beach County injury lawyers
West Palm Beach, FL (JusticeNewsFlash.com)–CBS local news reported a Delray Beach priest, and his alleged accomplice, have been charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from their local church. Father John Skehan, 81, pled guilty to stealing over $100,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach. Afterward, Skehan ran from the Palm Beach County courtroom to avoid talking to the press. His co-defendant, Father Francis Guinan, denied allegations he embezzled $134,000 from the church and it’s parishonars.
Local police officers, investigating the alleged crimes, claim the two priests amassed millions of dollars in church funds. The priests are accused, by the Palm Beach County District Attorney’s office, of using these funds to finance a high-class lifestyle of buying overseas properties, entertaining girlfriends, and gambling. Skehan and his attorney, Scott Richardson, have not agreed on his sentencing terms with prosecutors, rather, Skehan is relying on the judge to show mercy in his sentencing decision. Skehan faces a prison sentence of 2 to 30 years. His trial date before the judge is scheduled for March 20, 2009. Skehan is attempting to use his fifty-year history, as a priest in his service to the community to claim mercy on the court in his sentencing.
Father Guinan and his defense attorney, Richard Barlow, insist Guinan is not guilty of any crime. The $134,000, police say Guinan stole from St. Vincent Ferrer Church, has been found in the church’s accounts. Guinan’s trial date is February 18, 2009.
JusticeNewsFlash.com news stories for Palm Beach County injury lawyers