Audit exposes embezzling priest

A recent accounts payable audit of St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts, found that former pastor Keith LeBlanc had written himself personal checks that totaled more than $28,000, the Eagle Tribune reports.

An accounts receivable audit revealed that LeBlanc stole an additional $50,000 in cash collections between 2004 and 2010, and an analysis of the church rectory's Comcast bills found that the pastor had used a further $4,000 of church funds to purchase adult movies.

According to a report by the Haverhill Police Department, LeBlanc used the money for personal expenses such as rent and credit card payments.

LeBlanc's attorney, William Sullivan, told the news source that the church was reimbursed $74,000 thanks to an insurance policy, leaving the impact on parish finances to be approximately $32,000.

Haverhill District Court Judge Stephen Abany continued the case without a finding until June 2014. He sentenced LeBlanc to perform 120 hours of community service over the next three years, and ordered him to continue counseling for his self-admitted pornography addiction.

Although the legal proceedings appear to be nearing completion, the Archdiocese of Boston will continue its investigation, the Boston Herald reports. 

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