JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former priest in Mississippi has been indicted on wire fraud charges after federal investigators said he took more than $18,000 from parishioners for personal expenses.
Father Lenin Vargas, who led St. Joseph Catholic Church in Starkville, was indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.
The Commercial Dispatch reports if he's convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The Diocese of Jackson in a statement Wednesday said the Diocese has entered into an agreement with federal prosecutors to “tighten financial controls" and return the parishioners’ donations.