Friday, November 30, 2012

Man sentenced for church embezzlement in Wyoming

A man who stole more than $100,000 from a Wyoming church is headed to prison for longer than he expected.

A judge Thursday went beyond the recommended sentencing guidelines and sentenced James Kulfan to between eight and 20 years in prison.

Kulfan stole at least $125,000 from St. John Vianney Catholic School and Parish in Wyoming, where he worked as the business manager.

He also stole more than $19,000 from a Catholic youth charity with which he was associated, allegedly to pay back money he took from the church.

"I can understand and sympathize with a person taking what doesn't belong to them to put food on their table and a roof over their families head," Father Michael James Alber of St. John Vianney said at the sentencing. "But this isn't what Jim did. Jim Kulfan used what he stole from the parish of St. John Vianney to live a sordid life in strip clubs, to gamble and to rent and furnish his own apartment."

The judge called Kulfan's behavior outrageous.

He said the sentencing guidelines of three to five years didn't go far enough and gave Kulfan a minimum sentence of eight years.

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