Former Priest Sentenced on Fraud, Money-Laundering Charges

February 21, 2008

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A former Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to 63 months in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural Virginia parishes.

Rodney Rodis pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering in October in the theft of more than $600,000 in donations from St. Jude Church and Church of the Immaculate Conception in Louisa County between 2002 and 2006.

U.S. District Judge Richard Williams on Thursday also ordered Rodis to repay the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond more than $591,000.

Authorities said Rodis set up bank accounts and a post-office box, where he directed parishioners to send contributions. Rodis then transferred the money to his personal account, using it to support his family — a wife and three children, whom he concealed from parishioners. He also wired money overseas to relatives who used it to buy real estate.


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