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Vegas Pastor Admits Stealing Church Funds

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in Las Vegas has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges for siphoning $650,000 from parish bank accounts, the gift shop, votive candle collection and prayer funds.

Monsignor Kevin McAuliffe pleaded guilty Friday in Las Vegas to three mail fraud charges, admitting he took the money over an eight-year period from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Summerlin.

U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden says the 58-year-old McAuliffe could face up to 60 years in prison and a $750,000 fine at sentencing Jan. 6.

The Diocese of Las Vegas released a statement saying McAuliffe had been removed as pastor of the church in northwest Las Vegas and relieved of Diocese duties.

Diocese Bishop Joseph Pepe says in the statement that an accounting firm has been conducting a financial audit.

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