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Accused priest agrees to pay diocese $65K
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Accused priest agrees to pay diocese $65K

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The Rev. Robert Chukwu
The Rev. Robert Chukwu

A Catholic priest accused of embezzling money from two Crawford County parishes has agreed to pay the Diocese of La Crosse $65,000.

The Rev. Robert Chukwu has until March 7 to make the restitution payment, according to a document filed last week in Crawford County Circuit Court.

Chukwu, 60, was charged with felony theft after the diocese accused him of taking more than $180,000 from St. Mary and St. Philip parishes. He later pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor theft charges, two of which will be dismissed if he completes a diversion agreement.

Chukwu denies stealing and says he invested a much smaller amount of church funds in household items he planned to ship to parishes in his native Nigeria, which would pay a premium for goods not available there. 

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