Fr. Samuel Ciccolini, a beloved Catholic priest who founded the Interval Brotherhood Home of Akron, Ohio, stole money from the nonprofit group's foundation, his attorneys have admitted.
But Ciccolini, better known as "Father Sam," has since repaid the money he took, attorneys Peter Cahoon and Gregory Plesich wrote in an 11-page brief filed last week in federal court in Cleveland.
Ciccolini has pleaded guilty to one count of structuring financial transactions to evade reporting requirements and one count of making and subscribing a false tax return.
He deposited more than $1 million in bank branches in the Akron area from April to June 2003 by making 139 cash transactions, federal authorities say.
Banks are required to report deposits of more than $10,000 to federal authorities under the Bank Secrecy Act, which is designed to catch money laundering. Ciccolini deposited lower amounts to avoid the reporting requirement.