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the money trail

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 20, 2009

If a judge gave me a choice between paying $432,000 and going to jail, he really wouldn't be giving me any choice at all. I don't have $432,000; I'd go to jail. 

Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: "If you'd just been charged with stealing $432,000, and you offered a guilty plea, we'd know that you had $432,000." True. But notice that the sentence is phrased in the past tense. Even if I once had that sum, that doesn't mean I'd have it now. If I had stolen the money, I would probably have had plans to spend the money. So too with the former pastor from White Plains, New York:

Dunne, who led the Mamaroneck Avenue church since 1991, stole the money over a six-year period - including donations intended for Hurricane Katrina victims - and used it for personal expenses and recreation, including gambling.

So how does the humble pastor of a Catholic church amass $432,000 in spending money? 

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