March 09, 2005

Priest is charged with embezzlement

Boston Globe

By David Abel, Globe Staff | March 9, 2005

A Barnstable County grand jury yesterday indicted the former pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Falmouth on charges that the Roman Catholic priest embezzled more than $500,000 from the church and filed false tax returns, prosecutors said.

Bernard Kelly, who is separately being sued by the Diocese of Fall River for allegedly misappropriating $1.2 million, is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Barnstable Superior Court on one count of embezzlement and five counts of failing to file state income tax returns, prosecutors said.

In the past five years, Kelly allegedly wrote checks from parish accounts to himself. The investigation into the alleged embezzlement began while police investigated the 2003 murder of 20-year-old Jonathan Wessner. A Barnstable jury last year convicted a former church handyman and friend of Kelly's, Paul Nolin, of fatally stabbing the Falmouth man after he rejected Nolin's sexual advances, prosecutors said.

Posted by kshaw at March 9, 2005 06:11 AM