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Rapid City priest pleads not guilty to stealing donations

July 4, 2019

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Rapid City priest accused of stealing more than $150,000 in church donations is pleading not guilty.

The Rapid City Journal reports Marcin Garbacz entered the plea Wednesday in federal court to 60 charges, including 50 counts of wire fraud, nine counts of money laundering and one count of transporting stolen money. He was ordered detained until his trial.

According to court documents, Garbacz stole more than $150,000 between 2004 and 2012 from various parishes. Federal agents intercepted him at the Seattle airport May 10. He had booked a one-way ticket to Poland, his homeland.

He pleaded guilty in October 2018 to petty theft for stealing donations after police say security cameras caught him stealing roughly $600 from Saint Therese Church. He was suspended from the ministry that year.

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This story has been updated to correct that the Rapid City Journal reported the priests’ plea.

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