New Jersey Priest Admits to Stealing $516K

A Catholic priest who told church officials he borrowed more than $516,000 from his parish’s accounts due to “compulsive behavior” has pleaded guilty to theft, diocese officials said Wednesday.

The Rev. Douglas J. Haefner, 68, admitted to diverting the parish money into his personal account in a hearing before Superior Court Judge Peter Tober in Somerset County, the Diocese of Metuchen announced.

Haefner, the former pastor of St. Matthias Parish in Somerset, was released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 4.

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