Priest awaits sentencing after plea in embezzlement case

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) — A 70-year-old priest accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Michigan church is awaiting sentencing after reaching a plea agreement in the case.

The Rev. David Ernest Fisher pleaded guilty last week to embezzlement. He was initially charged with seven counts, but prosecutors agreed to drop other charges after Fisher pleaded to embezzling between $50,000 and $100,000.

Fisher is jailed ahead of sentencing, which is Sept. 22 in Shiawassee County Circuit Court.

Fisher was pastor for 23 years at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Owosso, 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Fisher retired in 2015 and moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Catholic Diocese of Lansing has said $450,000 was missing.

Authorities say the church’s new pastor noticed figures were off with the parish’s finances.

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