Former priest indicted as feds, Jackson Diocese reach agreement on criminal complaint

Starkville Daily News

July 15, 2020

By Ryan Phillips

A former Starkville priest accused of defrauding parishioners out of tens of thousands of dollars for fraudulent medical expenses has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 10 counts of wire fraud.

On top of that, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, who is accused of being aware of the fraud and actively working to cover it up, has reached an agreement with the federal government in connection to a criminal complaint filed separately against the Diocese.

Lenin Vargas, the former pastor for St. Joseph Catholic Church in Starkville, saw the indictment filed in February, receiving 10 counts of wire fraud, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Aberdeen by Judge Sharion Aycock,

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