A Roman Catholic priest charged in state court with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural churches was indicted Tuesday on federal fraud charges, federal prosecutors said.
A federal grand jury indicted the Rev. Rodney L. Rodis, 51, of Fredericksburg, on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced in a news release.
According to the indictment, Rodis embezzled money from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Bumpass and St. Jude Church in Mineral from 2002 until last year. Rodis wired at least $515,231 of misappropriated parishioner contributions to the Philippines, the release said.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has said Rodis embezzled more than $600,000 from the churches, where he was pastor from 1993 until his retirement last May.
Rodis is being held at Central Virginia Regional Jail in Orange County on 13 state felony embezzlement charges stemming from the incident. In May, Rodis’ bond was revoked after he violated terms of his bond.
“If the federal authorities had indicted Father Rodney for the same offenses for which he was standing trail in the state court, then arguably double jeopardy principles would prevent him from being tried in both courts for the same offense,” said Rodis’ lawyer, John R. Maus.
No, it doesn’t, you idiot. Where the hell did you go to law school? How the hell did you pass the bar? Of course, this isn’t the first moronic argument you’ve made.
Maus would not comment further on the charges because he had not yet seen the indictment.
Lousia [sic] County Commonwealth’s Attorney Don Short said he’s not surprised by the charges, but believes it probably will cause the state charges to be dropped in order to allow federal authorities to proceed.
Rodis used a post office box to obtain checks from parishioners, which he would transfer to a personal bank account and wire to the Philippines, according to court documents.
The release said that Rodis used the money and property intended for church use for his spouse and three biological children, “whom he concealed” by living about 50 miles from the church.
The case against Rodis originated in November when officials with the Catholic Diocese of Richmond found a Pennsylvania donor’s check was deposited in a bank account they knew nothing about.