Rev. John F. Regan steals from Collection Plate – Gambles away $300k

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An Illinois Catholic priest named John F. Regan plead guilty in court to stealing over $300,000 from St. Walter Roman Catholic parish so he could use the money to gamble at casinos. After pleading guilty to the aforementioned crime, Regan could be facing up to 15 years in prison.

Regan’s crimes began in 2006 when he was appointed the head of parish at St. Walter. Shortly after his ascension, the priest started a new bank account called the Church of St. Walter Special Needs Account, and put money generated from the collection plates into this account. One of the church’s workers who handles finances, Joliet Diocese, noticed how much of a discrepancy there was between the donations in 2008, and what was being reported by Regan’s new account.

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Eventually, Diocese contacted the bank to find out if they knew anything about the missing money. The bank also noticed irregularities within the Special Needs account, and they told Diocese that there were transactions at casino riverboats. After the matter was investigated further, it was discovered that Regan was taking the money and gambling at the Elgin and Joliet riverboats.

It’s believed that the entire $300k Regan took is gone as he either lost it in the casino, or spent it in other areas. One of these areas includes his massive credit card debt since Regan used tens of thousands of dollars to cover these expenses.

Currently, the priest is on bail and suspended from his duties as a priest until sentencing. And while things are currently up in the air right now, it’s highly likely that Regan will have to do some prison time judging from the severity of his crimes. We should know Regan’s fate at the end of June when he goes back to court to receive his fate.

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