U.S. Priest Found Guilty of Embezzling Church Money

A Florida priest who was charged with embezzling thousands of dollars from his church to fund a lavish lifestyle has been convicted of second-degree grand theft.

Prosecutors accused the Rev. Francis Guinan of stealing $488,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach to fund trips to the Bahamas and Las Vegas, jewelry and home furniture. A jury found that he stole more than $20,000 but less than $100,000. He had been charged with first-degree grand theft of more than $100,000.

The 66-year-old priest faces up to 15 years in prison. His sentencing is March 25.

A conviction on the more severe charge carried up to 30 years in prison.

Guinan's attorney argued the church allows discretionary spending by priests.