Louisiana priest arrested for theft

Published: Nov. 23, 2011 at 10:40 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2011 at 11:18 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest who was the pastor of a Natchitoches church has been arrested on a charge he stole more than $250,000 in church funds.

The Louisiana State Police says Father James Foster was booked into the Natchitoches Parish jail on one count of theft following his arrest Tuesday. The Diocese of Alexandria says Foster resigned in October as pastor of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church after an analysis of church financial records revealed that a "substantial" amount of money was missing.
State police said it launched an investigation at the diocese's request. The 66-year-old priest allegedly stole the money by issuing checks to himself and using the church's corporate credit card account.

Police said the theft dates back to January 2008.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)