Milwaukee Federal appeals judge rules fraud claims against archdiocese can move forward

SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

Today Milwaukee Federal Judge Rudolph Randa has rejected the appeal of Archbishop Jerome
Listecki and his lawyers to throw out of court the claims of 570victim/survivors who have filed for restitution in Federal Bankruptcy court as a result of being raped and sexually assaulted by clergy, employees or volunteers of the Archdiocese. Attorneys for survivors and the Creditors Committee had successfully argued in February before Federal Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley that claims should be allowed to proceed because there was sufficient evidence that the archdiocese had committed decades of fraud by intentionally concealing and transferring scores of known child molesting clerics.

In a letter to Randa dated October 22, 2012 the archdiocese made clear exactly what its intentions are in regards to victim/survivors. “The Archdiocese strongly believes that all the claims” wrote Francis H. LoCoco, Counsel for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, “including those that are subject of the New Objections and Appeals, are not allowable under applicable bankruptcy law.” In other words, the archdiocese wants every single claim tossed out of court. Why, then, did they file for bankruptcy in the first place, urge victims to come forward and file claims, and then spend 7.2 million dollars on lawyers and consultants? Clearly, the archdiocese’s intention all along was to stop the growing number of fraud cases from being successfully filed in Wisconsin civil courts, where victim/survivors would have their chance for justice, and instead use the Federal court to circumvent the state courts.

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