Jekyll-Hyde Priest Charged with Three-Year Tax Dodge

Charleston Daily Mail
October 10, 1968

Los Angeles (UPI) - The children at Boys Town of the Desert know him as the Rev. Robert Nikliborc, Roman Catholic priest and head of the orphanage.

The U.S. attorney's office says he is known to neighbors in Palm Springs as Robert Drew Rand, an executive of an electronics firm with a $75,000 home.

Father Nikliborc was charged Wednesday with failing to declare personal income of nearly $120,000 over a three-year period.

U.S. Atty. Matt Byrne said the priest maintained a dual identity for several years, operating the orphanage at Banning, Calif., and living in the plush Palm Springs desert resort.

The government charges he didn't file income tax returns for the years 1963, 1964 and 1965 when he had a total gross income of $119,960.44.

The 37-year-old priest is president and financial director of the Catholic oprhanage [sic] which cares for 65 boys. Last year he announced plans for a $4 million institute on land in nearby Beaumont owned by the San Diego Diocese. He said it would be the first of 15 similar orphanages across the country.

Boys Town of the Desert is a school for youths up to 17 years old. It is operated by the Brothers of Charity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Officials at the orphanage said Father Nikliborc has been its president since 1961.

The priest's arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 31 before U.S. Dist. Judge Francis C. Whelan. If convicted, he would receive a maximum sentence of three years and a fine of $30,000.

Father Nikliborc was not available for comment.

Neighbors in Palm Springs said they had not seen "Bob Rand" for several weeks and had been worried about him.


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