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Evenings of reparation scheduled

In response to the ongoing revelation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Bishop James P. Powers will lead two Liturgies of Reparation to be celebrated in the Diocese of Superior. The first will be Monday, Oct. 22, at Nativity of Our Lord Church, Rhinelander, and the second will be Tuesday, Oct. 23, at St. Patrick Church, Hudson. Both evenings will begin at 6:30 p.m. with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, continuing at 7 p.m. with a Mass of Reconciliation and Forgiveness followed by a time of fellowship. All are invited.

Turtle Lake embezzler sentenced

Deborah Marcellus, 64, Turtle Lake, was sentenced Oct. 2 by U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 37 months in prison for engaging in a wire fraud scheme and filing a false income tax return.

Marcellus pleaded guilty to these charges July 2.

Marcellus served as the director of Development for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Rice Lake. In this role, she was responsible for paying church vendors with checks and maintaining a record of those checks in the accounting software known as QuickBooks.

The law enforcement investigation revealed that between 2011 and April of 2017, Marcellus generated more than 200 unauthorized church checks to herself for a total of $822,900. The audit trail from QuickBooks showed that while the unauthorized checks were originally written to Marcellus, she often quickly changed the payee name to a legitimate church vendor. Marcellus also forged the signature of multiple church leaders on the unauthorized checks.

During the same time period, Marcellus filed a false Individual Income Tax Return for 2012, in which she underreported her gross income by failing to report the embezzled proceeds.

In imposing the 37-month prison sentence, Judge Peterson noted Marcellus’s embezzlement scheme was sustained over a long period of time and involved a substantial amount of money.

Judge Peterson also admonished Marcellus for “stealing from the people who trusted her the most.”