Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ex-Parish Manager at Troy Church Sentenced

Former St. Thomas More Catholic Church manager Janice Vershuren was sentenced to probation for a year Monday for charges relating to the embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church.

Vershuren, who pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in October, kept her divorced husband on the parish-paid health and dental insurance at a cost of $26,000. During her sentencing in U.S. District Court, she was ordered to repay the premiums, as well as pay $5,500 to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Associated Press reports.

In her plea, she avoided more serious charges in the scheme to hide more than $500,000 from the church when she accepted the plea agreement. In it, she admitted she had kept her ex-husband on health and dental insurance plans.

Vershuren and the Rev. Edward Belczak, the parish priest, were indicted in April 2014 on charges they stole nearly $500,000 from the church and the Archdiocese of Detroit, and stealing another $109,570 from the church to pay the closing costs on a plush condominium in Florida that Vershuren sold to Belczak.

Belczak, serving 27 months in prison for his part in the scandal.

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