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San Diego Diocese tried to hide funds in bankruptcy

San Diego Diocese tried to hide funds in bankruptcy

April 11,2007 | SAN DIEGO — A federal bankruptcy judge is threatening the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego with contempt for allegedly attempting to hide assets to avoid payment to clergy sexual abuse victims. Judge Louise DeCarl Adler ordered the diocese's lead attorney into court Wednesday to explain why she and her colleagues should not be sanctioned. Adler cited a March 29 letter sent by a diocese parish organization to pastors urging them to get new taxpayer identification numbers and transfer funds to new accounts. The threat Monday came six weeks after the diocese sought bankruptcy protection amid lawsuits by more than 140 people who accuse priests of sexual abuse. The judge said any post-bankruptcy transfers between the diocese and parishes outside of normal cash operations violate her ruling against shifting the diocese's assets while the bankruptcy case is pending. She said any transfers require court approval. In a sternly worded order, Adler said attorneys Susan Boswell, Jeffry Davis and Victor Vilaplana appear to have "conspired with parishes" to create new bank accounts separate from the diocese.

The so-called guardians of 'morality' squirm and weasel at their own day of reckoning.


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