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New Jersey Priest Sentenced For Misusing Parish Funds

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A Morris County pastor has been sentenced to five months in federal prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion.

Monsignor Patrick Brown was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Newark.

The 59-year-old Brown pleaded guilty in November. He admitted that between 2004 and 2009 he kept two hidden bank accounts and spent more than $63,000 in parish money for lavish vacations, home repairs and gifts.

He also admitted not reporting income from a job as chaplain at Morris County Jail.

Brown has been pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Parish in Stirling for 18 years.

His attorneys say he never sought to benefit financially but was generous to parishioners and the poor.

The courtroom was packed with supporters. They sent more than 200 letters on his behalf.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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