Priest gets 5 years’ prison for $1.9M theft from Ohio church




HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — A 75-year-old Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to stealing $1.9 million from a southwest Ohio church he led has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The Rev. Earl Simone said he was sorry and that apologies aren't enough. His plea agreement also calls for him to pay restitution for stealing from St. Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights between 2008 and 2015.

He pastored there for over two decades before retiring last year because of medical problems. He also was the administrator of four churches in Dayton.

Prosecutors say Simone used church funds to pay personal expenses and maintain and update rental properties he owned.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has said allegations of financial irregularities at St. Peter were turned over to police after an internal investigation.
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