Alright, our world is going to hell in a handbasket. A beloved Catholic priest in Troy, Michigan was scorned when allegations came forth that he embezzled money from church coffers over the span of 8 years. Rev. Edward A. Belczak, 70, diverted $572,775 collected by the church, most of which he kept in a secret private bank account. He also spent $109,570 to purchase a Florida condo in 2005.
Earlier this year, Belczak pleaded guilty to mail fraud and as part of the plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed more serious charges. Belczak’s sentencing guidelines were 33-41 months and the government sought a three year sentence while the defense asked for home detention.
Earlier today, Belczak, in allocution, made a lengthy plea for mercy, citing scripture and also revealing that he had suicidal thoughts because of the public humiliation. “I have stained the reputation of being a priest,” said Belczak. However, Belczak’s allocution was ineffective as Judge Tarnow sentenced him to serve 27 months in federal prison.