Attorneys for Catholic church abuse victims say diocese has funds for settlement

Billings Gazette

January 27, 2018

By Rob Rogers

[See also: Lawsuit: More of a Montana Catholic diocese’s assets should be on the table for abuse victims, Billings Gazette, December 20, 2017]

The attorneys representing the Montana victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests say more money exists for settlements after the Great Falls-Billings Diocese declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy last March.

In December, the victims group alleged that $70 million in Catholic real estate assets and an additional $16 million in funds transferred out of the Great Falls-Billings Diocese should be considered fair game for victims’ settlements.

In a move to streamline the complaints, the judge overseeing the case ordered the victims group to separate out the two claims. The judge will now make one ruling on the whether the $70 million is available and a separate ruling on whether the $16 million is also fair game.

In a recent supplemental filing, attorneys for the victims group made their argument for the $16 million.

In their claim, the attorneys argue the diocese transferred more than $16 million in assets from its deposit and loan fund to an entity known as the Capital Assets Support Corp. The attorneys alleged in their court filing that the funds transfer was an attempt by the diocese to “hinder, delay or defraud” its creditor

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