A New Brighton man who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $33,000 from the historic south metro church where he worked was sentenced to 10 years of supervised probation and ordered to pay back more than three times the amount he stole.
The punishment handed down Friday by judge Timothy McManus in Dakota County District Court calls for Christopher Paul Seiple to repay more than $118,000 to the Church of St. Peter in Mendota and serve 30 days in jail plus 30 days of electronic home monitoring.
Seiple, 48, worked as Operations Director at the church, which was founded in 1840 and is considered the oldest Catholic church in what is now Minnesota. Seiple admitted to authorities that he took the money because he was behind on his mortgage and was spending $400 a day on scratch-off lottery tickets, according to the criminal complaint.
A person auditing church finances discovered several suspicious transactions involving Seiple and called police. Seiple told authorities he had issued several checks to vendors on behalf of the church, but had deposited the checks into his own bank account. The thefts occurred between November 2018 and May 2019.
“We are pleased to have brought this former church employee to justice in this theft from a faith institution which was in part motivated by gambling,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.