Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, February 12, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Holy Redeemer Open House 2016

Home : News : Nation and World
Ex-CFO in Philadelphia gets two to seven years for stealing $900,000
Catholic News Service


PHILADELPHIA — The former chief financial officer of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will spend the next two to seven years in state prison for embezzling more than $900,000 from the church over seven years.

Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler sentenced Anita Guzzardi, 44, to prison at a hearing Aug. 24 in Philadelphia on her third-degree felony conviction of theft by deception. Guzzardi will also serve seven years' probation on two other convictions, forgery and unlawful use of a computer. She had pleaded guilty to the three charges July 29.

Guzzardi sat downcast in a black business suit as Assistant District Attorney Lisa Caulfield described what she called the "lavish lifestyle" Guzzardi fueled through funds she embezzled in her work as a trusted senior financial officer of the archdiocese.

Beginning in late 2004, Caulfield said, Guzzardi began to write archdiocesan checks to cover her expenses on her American Express credit card. The deception grew to a second Amex card and a Chase card, expenses for which she covered by cutting more than 300 checks over time totaling $906,000.

Those expenses included frequent business trips in which she included family and friends, plus vacations to Hawaii, Las Vegas, the Bahamas and other locales, together with shopping sprees for clothes, gifts and flowers for herself, family and friends.

After her promotion from archdiocesan controller to CFO in 2011, Guzzardi was fired by the archdiocese as a result of a joint probe by American Express, the Philadelphia district attorney and archdiocesan investigators.

Caulfield rejected the contention of defense lawyer Louis R. Busica that Guzzardi's diagnosed gambling addiction -- she frequently racked up bills from casinos in Atlantic City, N.J. -- somehow clouded her judgment and was to blame for the embezzlement, or because of financial need.

Caulfield pointed out that Guzzardi earned a six-figure salary as archdiocesan controller and later CFO, and with her husband's income, the couple, who have no children, were well off.

"It wasn't impulse, it wasn't because she needed the money," Caulfield said. "She thought about it, disguised it, changed the amounts and dates of checks" to conceal her actions. "She knew what she was doing. It was not a reckless impulse. When you steal money and don't need it, that's plain greed."

Busica argued that his client's gambling addiction, depression and features of compulsive gambling and shopping in her childhood should mitigate a stiff sentence for the crime to which she pleaded guilty June 29.

He also argued that the 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report on sexual misconduct of priests toward minors, and the archdiocesan responses to the scandal, exacerbated Guzzardi's gambling addiction as she coped with the revelations.

Ceisler sided with Caulfield's argument that Guzzardi's embezzlement had begun before the October 2005 report was issued. The thefts peaked from 2007 to 2009, especially on items such as outfitting a new home in upscale Haddon Heights, N.J., and travel, shopping and meal expenses.

Even after a second grand jury in early 2011, Guzzardi used her ability to write checks to make extra payments on her home mortgage principal, right up to her dismissal in July of that year.

In her closing statement, Guzzardi apologized through tears and a choking voice to some 20 family members and friends in the courtroom, to the Philadelphia Archdiocese and to her husband, "for putting you through this torment and grief."

"If it takes the rest of my life, I will try to make up for all the betrayal and lies I have caused so many people," she said. "I have a remorseful heart."

In a statement, the archdiocese said insurance will cover losses from the theft, but emphasized the breaking of the trust Guzzardi had earned during her tenure from "legitimate service to pastors, administrators and parishes."

"While the damage was contained, the fact that Mrs. Guzzardi hurt the very people she spent her life serving is deeply troubling," the statement said. "This is a difficult day for the many friends and co-workers who feel betrayed and confused by her actions. We trust the court to determine an appropriate sentence, balancing her genuine service against a serious crime that impacted so many people."

Guzzardi has paid back $260,000 to the archdiocese since her arrest. Her lawyer argued that she should be allowed to avoid jail time and to continue working to pay back the remaining $646,000.

Ceisler did not agree, saying house arrest and probation alone would be "a slap on the wrist," and not serve as a public deterrent. She also refused to set a later date for Guzzardi to report for prison.



Advanced Search











Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved