Catholic priest’s defense to target gambling

Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Doug McMurdo

Posted: Jan. 2, 2012

When Kevin McAuliffe appears in federal court Jan. 13, the Catholic priest’s addiction to gambling will be used as an argument for leniency in his sentencing for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his Summer­lin parish.

His attorney, Margaret Stanish, has hired an expert who will offer testimony about gambling and his assessment of McAuliffe as a pathological gambler. The expert, Dr. Timothy Fong, is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and on the staff of UCLA’s Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He treats problem gamblers with a combination of pharmacology and psychotherapy, trying to rewire brains that can’t shake the feeling the next bet is going to yield a big payday.

According to court papers, Fong will tell Mahan that the former monsignor, in addition to being a pathological gambler, suffers from major depression and social anxiety.

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