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Retired priest pleads guilty to stealing church funds



A retired priest from the Diocese of Jefferson City on Tuesday pleaded guilty in federal court to sending his sister a $100,00 check stolen from a Wardsville church and admitted to writing himself a $200,000 check from the same account, a press release from the Department of Justice says.

The Rev. Ignazio C. Medina, 72, pleaded guilty to transporting stolen property across state lines. He was previously barred by the diocese earlier this year after a church trial determined he was guilty of soliciting sex from an adult during a confession, previous reporting shows. A church court in 2023 also determined that Medina stole $300,000 in church money while he was pastor at St. Stanislaus Parish in Wardsville.

Medina was a pastor at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church from 2013-21, the release says. Financial irregularities occurred at St. Stanislaus in 2018, and the diocese determined that the parish had a bank account that was not previously reported on the budget, the release says.

According to the release, Medina was asked to include bank account in the parish’s annual report, and in 2020 he reported an account balance of about $358,000. The release says he was transferred to another parish in 2021, which is when he allegedly emptied the account by writing checks to himself and  his sister in Tucson, Arizona.

Medina allegedly told officials that the account “was funded by donations that were not intended for the parish itself, but rather were intended for his own discretionary use,” the release says. Donors allegedly refuted his claims, according to the release.

Medina later claimed he was refunding donations his sister made to the parish, but his sister allegedly told law enforcement that she did not make a donation and that Medina told her the money was for care for their mother.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Ryan Shiner


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