A Catholic priest in Mississippi bilked his parishioners out of thousands of dollars by claiming that he had a rare form of cancer, only to spend money donated to him on a membership for an HIV positive dating website according to a Thursday report.
“An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, Jackson, Mississippi by Homeland Security Special Agent William G. Childers alleges that Father Lenin Vargas Gutierrez used money given to him by parishioners for what he said were cancer treatments in Canada and charitable causes in his native Mexico for his own personal expenses,” the report said. “One of these expenses was membership in a dating website for people with HIV.”
Varags was a priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Starkville before he was abruptly removed from his post after the charges were filed by by law enforcement this week. He allegedly told his clergy that he had a rare form of cancer.
“A GoFundMe account soliciting funds for this treatment was set up and raised $9,210. According to Special Agent Childers, Vargas withdrew most of the donations between March 24 and April 12, 2015. By the end of April, the priest had been given over $20,000 from different sources, including Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Macon, Michigan,” the report said.
According to a local news report, the priest would “groom” his victims by taking them out to meals, for which he would pay (and subsequently put on the church’s tab) before asking them for donations.
“After ingratiating himself, agents say he would then give the parishioner the opportunity to donate to his cause,” that report said. “One informant claimed they gave a $5,000 check to St. Joseph Parish and Vargas called them to ask if the money could be used for the orphanage, to which the informant agreed.”
In a statement, the Diocese of Jackson said:
Earlier this week the government began an investigation of the financial administration of Saint Joseph in Starkville. Saint Joseph Parish and the Diocese of Jackson are cooperating with the investigation. Pending the resolution of the investigation, Father Lenin Vargas will not engage in any public ministry, and has been removed from all pastoral and financial administration.
The continued spiritual and financial well being of St. Joseph Parish and Corpus Christi Mission is of the utmost importance, and we will continue to aid you both in sound fiscal management of all of your resources. Let us pray with trust that the Lord Jesus will shepherd us through this difficult time of upheaval and uncertainty.
Daughter of Man Involved in Fatal 1972 Biden Car Crash Accuses Joe Biden of Falsely Accusing Dad of Driving Drunk
She says he wasn’t a drunk driver. And he was never charged.
The daughter of a man who was involved in a 1972 car crash that resulted in the deaths of Joe Biden’s then-wife, Neilia, and the couple’s one-year old daughter, Naomi, is accusing Joe Biden of falsely blaming her father for the tragic incident.
Deborah Criddle, the daughter of Curtis Dunn, is calling on Joe Biden to “set the record straight” on several claims he’s made in previous years, in which Biden suggested Curtis Dunn was intoxicated or an alcoholic when speaking about the crash. Dunn was never charged or convicted of any traffic or DUI violations stemming from the incident.
Criddle brought up Biden’s accusations towards Dunn in remarks provided to The Sun newspaper on Wednesday.
Criddle says that she became motivated to speak out on Biden’s claims after he repeatedly called Donald Trump a liar during the first presidential debate. She calls such a description as the “pot calling the kettle black,” and that “Biden has got a lot of nerve calling Trump a liar.”
Criddle has spoken out before, in 2008, when Biden made the latest of several inferences suggesting Curtis Dunn was drunk during the crash.
“A tractor-trailer, a guy who allegedly – and I never pursued it – drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch, broadsided my family and killed my wife instantly and killed my daughter instantly and hospitalized my two sons,” Biden had claimed in 2007. He previously suggested that alcohol was involved in the crash in 2001.
A Delaware Superior Court Judge, Jerome O. Herlihy- who investigated the crash at the time as a prosecutor- clarified that there was no reason to believe that any intoxication was involved in the incident when asked about the situation in 2008.
“The rumor about alcohol being involved by either party, especially the truck driver (Dunn), is incorrect,” said the judge in response to Joe Biden’s continued suggestions that Dunn was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Police investigating the incident ultimately determined that the crash was determined by a t-bone accident in which the vehicle Neilia Biden was driving pulled into the right of way and was struck by a tractor Curtis Dunn was driving.
Criddle is describing Dunn, who died in 1999, as a loving father and family man.
The 1972 car crash was a tragedy for everyone involved, including then-Senator-elect Joe Biden, regardless of the exact circumstances. A one-year old baby and a mother of three children lost their lives. Falsely accusing a party involved of culpability- no matter how slight- without substantiation is a serious matter, one that Biden should answer to regardless of the passage of time since the incident.
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