Former Catholic pastor pleads guilty in scheme to steal Md. church funds

    GREENBELT, Md. (AP) -- Prosecutors say a former church pastor in Maryland has pleaded guilty in connection with a scheme to steal more than $76,000 in church funds.

    Prosecutors said in a statement Tuesday that 71-year-old Rev. John S. Mattingly of Charlotte Hall, Maryland, pleaded guilty to bank fraud. Prosecutors say that Mattingly was the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Leonardtown, Maryland, from 1994 to 2010.

    Prosecutors say that from 2006 to 2010, Mattingly fraudulently deposited checks from parishioners intended to be donations to a bank account he controlled. Prosecutors say he moved the money to his personal retirement account. Prosecutors say Mattingly fraudulently deposited more than 500 checks written by more than 135 parishioners.

    A sentencing hearing is set for July 31. Mattingly's attorney didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

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