Former CFO of Philadelphia archdiocese sentenced to 7 years

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 24, 2012 5:35 PM
Former CFO of Philadelphia archdiocese sentenced to 7 years

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The former chief financial officer of the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia was sentenced on Friday to two to seven years in prison for stealing more than $900,000 from the church.

After she serves her prison term, Anita Guzzardi, 43, of Camden County, New Jersey, will remain on probation for seven years, Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler said at the sentencing.

Guzzardi had pleaded guilty to theft by deception, forgery and unlawful use of a computer.

Her case made headlines earlier this year as the archdiocese faced a $6 million budget shortfall and an additional $11 million in legal costs associated with a child sex abuse scandal. Monsignor William Lynn was convicted of covering up for predatory priests.

Prosecutors have said that Guzzardi spent most of the money on personal credit card bills and at casinos in the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Her lawyer, Louis Busico, said on Friday she has so far paid back some $260,000, but the court ordered her to turn over another $646,627.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Kenneth Barry)