Guilty plea hearing scheduled for Detroit-area priest
Detroit — A guilty plea appears likely in the case of a Detroit-area Catholic priest accused of conspiring to steal nearly $700,000 from his church.
A court filing shows a change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 1 in Detroit federal court.
The Rev. Edward Belczak is charged with conspiring with a parish administrator to take money from St. Thomas More church in Troy. The indictment says he helped himself to $110,000 from a church account to pay for a Wellington, Florida, condominium.
The government says cash was also missing from special collections on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The now-former parish administrator, Janice Verschuren, is also charged in the case.
Belczak was removed from St. Thomas More in 2013 after an audit raised questions about parish finances.
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