Priest gets 3 years behind bars for theft

| November 6, 2011

A Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to felony theft after being charged with embezzling more than $350,000 from two parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was sentenced Friday to three years behind bars.

New Castle County Superior Court Judge Fred Silverman sentenced the Rev. Cornelius Breslin to 10 years in prison, but he suspended all but three years. After that, Breslin must serve probation.

Silverman's punishment went beyond the state's sentencing guidelines, which called for up to one year in prison. But he nevertheless described the court's judgment as trivial "compared to the judgment the defendant will face in another court at another time."

"The defendant may or may not have faith in that day coming, but I suspect his victims will rest comfortably thinking sooner or later Mr. Breslin will face the justice he truly deserves," said Silverman, who ordered Breslin to have no contact with St. Patrick and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception parishes, from which he stole the money.

Breslin, 60, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of felony theft over $100,000. Prosecutors agreed to drop a second theft count and two counts of falsifying business records. He was indicted in February after diocesan officials reported suspicious financial activity to the attorney general's office.

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Category: Church Security

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