Gambling Catholic Priest Accused Of Losing $300k From Collection PlateJune 8, 2011 10:30 am
A Roman Catholic priest is expected to plead guilty to theft in court today, after allegedly stealing $300,000 from funds raised by parishioners in his Illinois parish.
Former pastor of St. Walter Parish, Rev. John F. Regan, 47, was a priest from 1989 to 2008, until Joliet Diocese noticed financial irregularities, which they claimed were “related to gambling.”
Rev. John F. Regan was then indicted in February 2009, with a subsequent investigation into accounts revealing stolen funds from between August 2006 and July 2008.
Apparently, during this time the priest would deposit cash and cheques given to his church by parishioners into the “Church of St. Walter Special Needs Account,” which he would then subsequently transfer into his own personal account.
Eventually, however, the bank contacted the diocese after they suspected a problem with a subsequent investigation showing that the priest had been withdrawing the money from ATMs at riverboat casinos. As well as his apparent gambling addiction, it was found Rev. John F. Regan also used the money to make purchases and for making payments to his credit cards.
The Reverend now finds himself facing a range of charges from theft to money laundering, and has been out on a $100,000 bond since awaiting trial for the offences.
Up until now Rev. John F. Regan has only spent 10 days in the county jail, but if found guilty of the charges could spend the next 15 years behind bars.