HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — A retired Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing $1.9 million from a southwest Ohio church he led has pleaded guilty to aggravated theft.
The Rev. Earl Simone entered the plea Thursday under an agreement that he’ll be sentenced to five years in prison. It also calls for the 75-year-old to pay restitution for the theft from St. Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights between 2008 and 2015.
He pastored there for over two decades before retiring last year because of medical problems. He also was the administrator of four other churches in Dayton.
A statement from Simone’s attorney says the priest took responsibility for his actions.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced last year that allegations of financial irregularities at St. Peter were turned over to police after an internal investigation.