From staff reports
MIFFLINTOWN - The sentencing date for a former volunteer bookkeeper who stole more than $248,000 over a 7-year period from Saint Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church in Mifflintown has been pushed back until Nov. 4.
Mary M. Zangrilli, 59, was scheduled to appear for sentencing on Oct. 1, however, her defense attorney requested a continuance, which was granted despite an objection from Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook.
Both a private investigator and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation, which lead to the finding of more than 300 questionable checks made out to "cash" or to Zangrilli from the church's bank account with Juniata Valley Bank. The first check was dated Dec. 25, 2005.
Zangrilli was confronted by investigators and admitted to converting the funds for her personal use, which included two cruises, police said. Zangrilli also wrote an open letter to the parish apologizing for her actions and asking for forgiveness. The letter was published in the parish newsletter earlier this year.
In addition, it was discovered Zangrilli had been taking cash from the church. Zangrilli stated she took cash every week from Dec. 26, 2005 until Nov. 20, 2012 and this included money from the church's tithe fund.
Investigators also looked into 88 suspicious checks in the Saint Jude Capital Campaign account at First National Bank. These checks were also made out to Zagrilli or "cash."
Zangrilli told investigators she initially took the money to help with personal and medical expenses because her husband had lost his job and she and her husband are both disabled. Zangrilli claimed she initially intended to replace the money and as time went on and she had not been caught, taking the money became "an addiction," according to court documents.
The investigation concluded Zangrilli had a minimum income of $2,000 per month from a source other than her legitimate sources - Social Security and a pension.