Former Top Cleveland Church Accountant Sentenced

CLEVELAND (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced the former chief
financial officer of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese to a year and a
day in prison on tax charges.

Joseph H. Smith was convicted last summer of six charges, including conspiracy to defraud the IRS.

A jury acquitted him of more serious charges related to alleged kickbacks even though the prosecution portrayed him as a manipulator who arranged $785,000 in secret payments because he felt he was underpaid.

After leaving the Cleveland diocese, Smith took a job as chief financial officer in the Columbus Catholic Diocese but resigned after he was indicted in August 2006.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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