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Akron priest's sentence is overturned on two fronts
Both prosecutors and defense attorneys get their way in the case of Father Sam

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

A federal appeals court threw out Tuesday the sentence of an Akron priest convicted of bank and tax fraud.   WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the latest twist in the case of “Father Sam.”

SCHULTZE on resentencing order

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Both defense atttorneys and prosecutors had appealed the sentence handed down two years ago in the case of the Rev. Samuel Ciccolini. The founder and decades-long leader of Interval Brotherhood Home had pleaded guilty to divvying up more than a million dollars among personal bank accounts so his money wouldn’t be reported to the IRS.

U.S. District Judge James Gwin sentenced him to a day in jail, fined him $350,000 and then added a restitution order for $3.5 million. During the sentencing, Gwin said that  because Ciccolini was a hoarder, paying the restitution would be a tougher sentence than more time in prison.

Prosecutors objected to the abbreviated jail time. Ciccolini objected to the restitution order.  And now the appeals court has thrown out both.

The three-judge panel says Gwin had no authority to order the restitution. That’s because – though the 70-year-old priest  had acknowledged he embezzled more than a million dollars – he was never charged with stealing from the foundation.

But the appeals panel also says because Gwin lessened the prison time in exchange for the restitution, both had to be thrown out and Gwin has to resentence Ciccolini.

Ciccolini has repaid more than a million dollars to the foundation.

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