Disgraced Priest Ordered to Pay $400K Restitution; 3 Years Supervised Release - Southern Maryland Headline News

Disgraced Priest Ordered to Pay $400K Restitution; 3 Years Supervised Release

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (August 04, 2017)—John S. Mattingly, former priest at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church who pleaded guilty to multiple counts of theft from his own congregation, has paid $400,000 in restitution per court orders, on line documents from the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt show.

Mattingly, 71, faces sentencing July 31 for stealing donations from church members during the last four years of leading one of the oldest Catholic churches in the United States. [See Dept. of Justice press release below for the outcome of the sentencing.]

St. Frances Xavier Church in Newtowne Neck dates back to the early 17th century just years after the founding of the Maryland colony.

A federal investigation into Mattingly, spurred by questions surrounding the financial health of the parish and the disappearance of tens of thousands of dollars meant for charitable donations that he could not account for, revealed that from 2006 to 2010 Mattingly took checks from parishioners intended for charities and deposited them into a bank account he controlled.

The County Times was the first to report on questions into Mattingly's fiscal stewardship of the Newtowne Neck congregation back in 2014.

The checks made out by parishioners were for the church and the St. Vincent de Paul Society but Mattingly used his pastor's title to falsely write on checks that they were to be used for those charities but were instead funneled into a personal retirement account.

Federal authorities say that Mattingly fraudulently deposited more than 500 checks which totaled at least $76,000 from more than 135 members of the St. Francis Xavier congregation.

As the investigation went on the findings showed that nearly half-a-million dollars had been stolen.

While serving as priest there Mattingly received a salary and a stipend from the church.

Sources close to the church revealed to The County Times that after Mattingly left his position it was discovered that the parish was near financial insolvency despite continual donations from church members.

Soon after the church returned to financial stability, the sources told The County Times, when it came under new leadership.

For more local stories from the County Times newspapers, visit ct.somd.com or find a copy on local news stands.

U.S. Attorney's Office Press Release

Former Pastor Of St. Mary's County Church Sentenced To 18 Months Home Confinement For Federal Bank Fraud Charges

GREENBELT, Md.—U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced John S. Mattingly, age 71, of Charlotte Hall, Maryland, to 3 years supervised release that includes 18 months of home confinement for bank fraud in connection with a scheme to steal funds from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, while he was the pastor. Judge Chasanow also ordered Mattingly to pay $400,000 in restitution, which Mattingly paid prior to the sentencing hearing.

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron, and St. Mary's County State's Attorney Richard Fritz.

According to his plea agreement, Mattingly was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1972 and was the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (St. Francis), in Leonardtown, Maryland, from 1994 until September 1, 2010, when he resigned. While serving as a parish priest, Mattingly was paid a salary and stipend by St. Francis.

From September 2006 through September 2010, Mattingly fraudulently deposited checks from parishioners made payable to St. Francis and to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which were intended by the St. Francis parishioners to be charitable donations, into a bank account he controlled. In order to conceal the scheme, Mattingly falsely represented that that the checks he deposited into his bank account would be used for charitable purposes and/or church maintenance and renovations. Mattingly did not use the charitable contributions from the St. Francis parishioners for their intended purposes, but instead transferred the fraudulently obtained funds from his bank account to his personal individual retirement account. He also wrote unauthorized checks from the St. Francis bank account payable to himself and deposited those checks into his personal individual retirement account.

Mattingly fraudulently deposited more than 500 checks, totaling at least $400,000, written by more than 135 parishioners and made payable to St. Francis or the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and not to Mattingly.

Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI, St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, and St. Mary's County State's Attorney's Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan E. Foreman, who prosecuted the case.

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