Priest convicted of $34,000 welfare fraud

The Adelaide Archdiocese says it is treating the case of a priest who was convicted of social security fraud as a high priority issue.

The Sunday Mail reports that Fr My Tran, who was a priest at St Joseph's at Brighton, pleaded guilty last month to falsely claiming $34,000 in Newstart allowances over a four-year period.

He was given a nine-month suspended jail term and placed on a $100 two-year good behaviour bond.

A statement from the Archdiocese of Adelaide says Fr Tran has withdrawn from all priestly ministry while the church investigates his actions.

It says significant steps have been taken to address the situation and determine appropriate sanctions under church law.

Meanwhile, the ABC reports that a man has stolen a church poor box at a central Queensland Catholic cathedral yesterday in full view of the priest.

Police said the man walked into the historic St Joseph's Cathedral in Rockhampton yesterday and left with the box. Parishioners donations, amounting to a small sum, were inside.

The man made comments but not threats to the priest before leaving with the box.

The offender is of Caucasian appearance, between 45 to 55 years of age, about 180-185cm tall, solid to heavy build, with dark greying hair.

Priest convicted of $34,000 Newstart fraud (ABC News 23/5/06)
Man steals church poor box (Sunday Mail 23/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Adelaide
Diocese of Rockhampton

24 May 2006