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Ex-chancellor admits stealing from diocese, CMC, friend's estate
Rev. Edward J. Arsenault answers a reporter's question at a 2002 press conference as then-Bishop John McCormack listens. Arsenault, who became chancellor of the Diocese of Manchester in 2000, will serve at least four years in prison under a plea bargain in relation to charges that he stole money from the diocese, Catholic Medical Center and the estate of a fellow priest.
"I broke the law and violated the trust of others. I am prepared to accept the consequences for having done so, to make restitution and to face the penalty for having committed these crimes," the letter reads.
In May, New Hampshire State Police and the FBI started investigating Arsenault, when the Diocese of Manchester announced that allegations had surfaced about Arsenault's involvement in illegal financial transactions and an "inappropriate adult relationship."
Jane Young, who oversees criminal prosecutions in the Attorney General's Office, said Monday's announcement concludes the investigation into Arsenault.
In their announcement, prosecutors said they would recommend a reduced sentence for the Catholic Medical Center-related theft case as long as Arsenault continues to cooperate with the investigation.
According to files at Rockingham County Probate Court, Arsenault was the executor for the estate of the Rev. Msgr. John E. Molan, who died on June 13, 2010. The records give no hint of impropriety. Arsenault reported that he paid himself $7,500 from the $277,000 estate for executor duties.
Monday's statement was issued by New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster and U.S. Attorney John Kacavas. It said thefts from the Diocese took place between 2005 and last year.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said clergy sexual abuse victims and Catholics were betrayed and misled time and again by Arsenault, his colleagues and supervisors.
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