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UPDATE: Court deciding fate of money allegedly stolen by priest

Posted at 5:27 AM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 06:31:44-04

LANSING, Mich. — UPDATE: A court-appointed receiver of Jonathan Wehrle’s estate filed a motion in Ingham County Circuit Court Thursday to move some assets into his possession.

Byron Gallagher asked Judge Wanda Stokes to order $63,000 in cash, a pickup truck, and another property bought by Wehrle be added to the receivership, so that those items can be used as collateral.

That motion was granted by Judge Stokes.

The money a priest was charged with stealing from his church and then died before a criminal proceeding could finish was the focus of a court hearing Thursday.

A show cause hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court began the process of determining how to recover the money allegedly stolen by Rev. Jonathan Wehrle.

The former pastor of Saint Martha Parish in Okemos was charged with stealing millions of dollars from the parish, money allegedly used to pay for his mansion.

His death ended the criminal case. He was arrested in 2017 on accusations of embezzlement.

The church's insurance company was able to pay the parish a few million dollars as compensation, but the insurance company was still in a legal battle with Wehrle at the time of his death in March.

Court records showed Wehrle still owed property taxes on his mansion near Williamstown for 2018 and 2019. The trust in his name owes more than $64,000 in taxes.

The state could foreclose on the home if the 2018 payment isn't made within a year.

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