Priests Were Sentenced For Stealing From Church

Two disregarded Roman Catholic priests were sentenced to prison in a case involving the misappropriation of more than $8 million from their church. The judge called this kind of theft as “greed unmasked.”


The two priests were John Skehan and Francis Guinan.They were accused in 2006 of skimming money from collection plates and bequests at their church in Delray Beach, Florida, and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on real estate, travel, rare coins and girlfriends.


Guinan, 66, was sentenced 4 years in prison after taking the case to trial and being found guilty of a lesser charge of theft under $100,000. Skehan, 81, was sentenced to 14 months in prison and seven years probation after pleading guilty in January to a charge of grand theft of over $100,000.


Judge Jeffrey Colbath said, “The crime of the defendant was pure greed unmasked. There was not a shred of moral necessity to excuse the defendant’s crime,”


On the other hand Judge Krista Marx said Guinan must be punished for “unmitigated greed and unmitigated gall,”“No matter how many good works you have performed in your many years as a priest, your legacy will always be one of thievery and deceit,” she also added.


The priests were charged in September 2006. At that time police said they had gathered money from collection plates into secret slush funds, using some of it for church projects and part for vacations, property and gambling trips to Las Vegas and the Bahamas.

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