Holy Roller Gambles Away $650,000 of Church’s Money

By McCarton Ackerman 01/06/12

A Catholic priest faces up to 60 years in jail in Vegas.

McAuliffe hopes the judge knows that
to forgive is divine.
Photo via

Las Vegas priest Monsignor Kevin McAuliffe faces up to 60 years in jail and $750,000 in fines after swindling over $650,000 from his parish to support his gambling addiction. McAuliffe, 58, who served as a pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, admits stealing from the church’s general bank account, the church mission fund and even the collection plate over the course of eight years. He's now undertaking a treatment program for his addiction and will ask for leniency, due to being a pathological gambler and suffering from depression and social anxiety. McAuliffe says he now wants to be of service to other problem gamblers. “He thinks some good can come out of this if he talks about what he’s gone through. Our hope is the judge takes into account the monsignor’s gambling problem and all the good works he’s done,” says his attorney, Margaret Stanish. McAuliffe will appear before a federal court on January 13. According to the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, 6% of adults living in Nevada are considered compulsive gamblers, compared to the national average of 1-2%.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.