Mortgage Daily Logo
mortgage news from industry experts

Priest and Parish Administrator Charged with Stealing from Troy Church

A Catholic priest and a parish administrator were indicted for stealing almost $700,000 from St. Thomas More Church in Troy during an eight-year period, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

Charged were Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy, and Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills.

The five-count indictment alleges that between 2004 and 2012, Belczak and Verschuren stole money and diverted funds from St. Thomas More Church and the Archdiocese of Detroit for their unjust enrichment and then concealed their criminal acts by creating or verifying false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese. Charges in the indictment include mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

The indictment alleges that Belczak, assisted by Verschuren, used the proceeds of their illegal conduct in a number of ways, including:

  • Diverting to their own use nearly $500,000 donated or bequeathed by parishioners to St. Thomas More Church
  • Using almost $110,000 stolen from the church to pay closing costs on the sale of Verschuren’s condominium in Palm Beach, Florida, to Belczak
  • Diverting to their personal bank accounts more than $26,000 in commissions paid to St. Thomas More Travel Group
  • Diverting to themselves more than $33,000 owed to St. Thomas More Church by Diocesan Publications

To conceal the theft and diversion of money, Belczak approved false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese of Detroit. The reports underreported the amount of the parish’s operating receipts.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

United States Attorney McQuade thanked the agents of the FBI and the Troy Police Department for their investigation of the case. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Cynthia Oberg, Frances Carlson, and Adriana Dydell.

Popular posts

How Long Does It Take to Refinance a Mortgage
How Long Does It Take to Refinance a Mortgage

So, you’re interested in refinancing your mortgage. Maybe you want some extra capital to do that home project you’ve always dreamed of, interest rates are nearing record lows, or you want to start consolidating debt. Regardless of the motivation behind the refinance,...

How Does Refinancing a Mortgage Work
How Does Refinancing a Mortgage Work

A home purchase is considered an investment, and a robust one at that. Savvy owners are constantly looking for new ways to reduce debt, save money, pay less in interest, and ultimately build equity. Refinancing is one way to leverage your investment and do just that....

What Does It Mean to Refinance Your Home
What Does It Mean to Refinance Your Home

You can think of refinancing your mortgage as a debt redo. Essentially, you’ll swap out the existing loan for a new one - ideally with better terms and conditions. Only this time it could help you save money on high mortgage payments, rather than just borrow it....

Setting up the Utilities in My New House
Setting up the Utilities in My New House

All the tedious, time-consuming home closing documents have been signed, sealed, and delivered. Your belongings are packed into what seems like a million boxes and you have a solid plan to haul all your existing furniture to the new place. Just as your boxes and...

When Is My First Mortgage Payment Due?
When Is My First Mortgage Payment Due?

Navigating your way through a brand new mortgage loan can be a difficult task, especially for first time homeowners. After handing over a large sum of money for the down payment and closing costs, it’s important to pay attention to the timing of your first mortgage...

Newsletter

Don’t worry, we don’t spam

calculate your monthly mortgage payment

Related Topics

Helpful Links

Daily mortgage rate trends

Best mortgage lenders

First-time homebuyers programs by state

Loan limits by state

Types of mortgages

APR vs interest rate

Understanding PMI

Related Posts

THE TRUSTED PROVIDER OF ACCURATE RATES AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION