Church Deacon Accused of Stealing from Poor Fund

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    Man holding offering plate

    Prosecutors say a former deacon and pastoral associate at a northern New Jersey church stole $53,000 from an account designated for needy parishioners.

    James Looby, 51, served at St. Therese Lisieux Church in Cresskill before resigning in May 2010 and moving to Del Valle, Texas.

    Two months later, a routine audit by the Archdiocese of Newark uncovered the missing funds.

    Bergen County prosecutors say Looby faces two counts of theft.

    Looby allegedly obtained a credit card for the church account and used it to withdraw funds from January 2006 until he resigned.

    Prosecutors say he used the money for personal expenses, like buying airline tickets and paying credit card bills.

    It wasn't known if Looby had retained an attorney, and a phone number for him could not be located.