Judge Denies Sentencing Delay for Former Darien Priest

By Donna Porstner
The Advocate
November 14, 2007

The Darien priest who admitted to stealing from his wealthy parish will be sentenced next month despite his efforts to delay the hearing because of his failing health.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay pleaded guilty in federal court Sept. 15 to siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from St. John Roman Catholic Church. According to prosecutors, Fay deposited more than $980,000 from church funds into two secret bank accounts he used mostly for personal expenses.

A glimpse of Fay's credit card records obtained by The Advocate shows the priest had a taste for designer clothing, expensive jewelry and the finest restaurants.

Fay faces up to 10 years in prison and as much as $250,000 in fines when sentenced Dec. 4.

Last month, Fay asked to delay his sentencing until April so he could complete chemotherapy treatments for prostate cancer. He said the cancer had spread to his bones and lymph nodes and that he is dying.

U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton denied the request. She ruled Oct. 25 that, should Fay be required to serve jail time and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons cannot provide adequate medical care, the court would consider a request for a voluntary surrender date after he completes treatment.

Fay admitted to stealing from his former parish, but disagreed with the government as to how much he stole, which could affect his sentence. Prosecutors claim he took $1 million to $2.5 million; Fay said the amount was $400,000 and $1 million.

Fay's attorney, Lawrence Hopkins, of New Haven, did not return a phone call yesterday.


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