Action Alert!

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? 

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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