This week a Canadian priest who stole nearly a million dollars to gamble has been given a two-year prison sentence and ordered to pay restitution.
Father Amer Saka has pleaded guilty to stealing $936,497 in funds that were raised during his time overseeing St. Joseph's Chaldean Catholic Church in London and St. Oraha Catholic Church in Kitchener, Ontario. The money was meant to go toward Syrian and Iraqi refugees who've fled to Canada in recent years, as church members could sponsor them to get into the country.
Saka stole the funds from between 2013 and 2016, with some of the sponsorship applications went missing. It turns out that 33 families were victimized by the theft.
The former priest was given a 2 year prison sentence in a minimum-security prison and 15 years to pay back the funds to victims. If Saka doesn't repay the funds within the 15 years, he could face an extra five years in jail.
No comment from the defendant or the judge was available as of press time.