$63,000 found in ceiling at home of priest accused of theft

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MGN Online MGN Online
WILLIAMSTON, Mich. -

State police say they discovered $63,000 hidden above ceiling tiles in the home of a Michigan priest who is accused of embezzling millions.

The search was conducted Tuesday at the Rev. Jonathan Wehrle's luxury home in Williamston. Police say money was in $2,000 bundles secured with cash bands that said, "For Deposit Only-St. Martha Parish."

Defense attorney Lawrence Nolan declined to comment and said he was withdrawing from the case.

Wehrle is charged with six counts of embezzling $100,000 or more from St. Martha Church in Okemos. He lived at a property worth more than $1 million. Trial is scheduled for Aug. 13.

Authorities have seized $1.1 million from Wehrle, although auditors say more than $5 million is missing. Nolan has said a bishop allowed Wehrle to use church funds for a home.