Embezzlement charges filed against Tulare priest

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Tulare County District Attorney's Office has filed embezzlement charges against Rev. Ignacio Villafan following an investigation by the Tulare Police Department.

In a statement, Diocesan officials said, "[...] evidence of financial improprieties was brought to their attention and verified by an outside accounting firm dating back to the time that Rev. Villafan was pastor."

Pending the outcome of the investigation, Rev. Villafan was immediately removed from administrative duties, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno.

Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, stated: "We must be good stewards; accountable for the gifts and resources that are faithfully offered to the Church to accomplish the mission of Christ in our midst. My concern and prayerful support for all impacted by this particular situation continues."

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