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Feds Charge Kansas Priest with Bank Fraud Over Parish Thefts

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas priest has been charged with alleging stealing nearly $151,000 from his two parishes and the Catholic Diocese to fund his extensive gambling.  A criminal information complaint filed today (TUE) in U.S. District Court in Kansas charges Father Thomas H. Leland with bank fraud. The court issued a summons for a September 23 initial appearance.  Leland was assigned in 2010 as the sole priest at St. Francis Parish in St. Paul and St. Ambrose Parish in Erie, both located in southeast Kansas.  Court records do not show a defense attorney, and church officials had no contact information for him.  Prosecutors allege that between 2012 and April 2014, Leland embezzled funds by taking overpayments of his salary and of stipends for conducting Mass. He also alleged took unauthorized reimbursements for personal expenses.



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