5-month sentence for NJ priest who admitted using parish money for lavish vacations, gifts

| April 26, 2011

NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey priest that prosecutors say kept hidden bank accounts and used parish money for lavish expenditures was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to tax evasion.

Monsignor Patrick Brown, the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Parish in Stirling for 18 years, was sentenced to five months in federal prison and five months of home confinement. He must also pay a $30,000 fine.

Brown said he was "totally humiliated" by the pain and suffering he had brought to his parish and the diocese. He added that in 33 years as a priest, "I've blessed many with the sacrament of forgiveness, but I find it very difficult to forgive myself."

The 60-year-old Brown, who now lives and works in Paterson, pleaded guilty in November. He admitted that between 2004 and 2009 he kept two hidden bank accounts and spent more than $63,000 in parish money for trips to Vail, Colo., Hawaii and Ireland, as well as for home repairs and gifts. He also admitted not reporting income from a job as chaplain at a Morris County Jail. Brown was placed on administrative leave in 2009 after FBI agents informed church officials that he was under investigation. He was later reinstated.



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Category: Church Security

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