Treasurer Stole Church Funds

By Lorey Schultz

November 9, 2008

Judge sends her to jail until sentencing

BUFFALO, N.Y. - She stole from a church - and now she's paying the price. News 4 was there - as a former church bookkeeper appeared for sentencing.

"You owe every penny back" Once again, Judge William Boller let Bonnie Radigan know how serious he takes this case. "Ma'am, I'm here for justice, not to help you and when I think of the victims. I don't think of your employer but all the parishioners that each Sunday wrote a check out thinking they were helping the needy, poor or the church."

Radigan is the former bookkeeper who pocketed nearly 300 thousand dollars over a six year period from St. Andrew Church in Kenmore.

"Each year you were taking in 46 thousand dollars...every week 900 dollars. I wonder how many children didn't get a scholarship because of your thievery? Bingo you stole from."

Radigan has yet to explain publicly what she did with the money, but denies buying anything lavish.

She came to her sentencing with $80,000 dollars in restitution, but that wasn't enough for the Judge who expected much more

"I find out now you have more assets than I knew about," the judge asked.

Theft of parish funds is a nationwide problem...the reason many dioceses, including Buffalo, are expanding programs to monitor church finances.

Diocesan Spokesman Kevin Keenan says workshops will soon be offered to parish leaders. "People need to know that the diocese and parish are taking all the steps we can to safeguard the money given to parishes."

The Judge adjourned sentencing until March - but also revoked Radigan's bail - sending her to the Holding Center. "Based on the actions I've seen so far you are definitely going to state prison...the question is how long."


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