Former Pastor from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church Pleads Guilty to Federal Bank Fraud Charges

May 2, 2017

On Monday, May 1, 2017, John S. Mattingly, age 71, of Charlotte Hall, Maryland, pleaded guilty to bank fraud in connection with a scheme to steal funds from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, while he was the pastor.

The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron, and St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Richard Fritz.

According to his plea agreement, Mattingly was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1972 and was the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (St. Francis), in Leonardtown, Maryland, from 1994 until September 1, 2010, when he resigned. While serving as a parish priest, Mattingly was paid a salary and stipend by St. Francis.

From September 2006 through September 2010, Mattingly fraudulently deposited checks from parishioners made payable to St. Francis and to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which were intended by the St. Francis parishioners to be charitable donations, into a bank account he controlled. In order to conceal the scheme, Mattingly falsely represented that that the checks he deposited into his bank account would be used for charitable purposes and/or church maintenance and renovations. Mattingly did not use the charitable contributions from the St. Francis parishioners for their intended purposes, but instead transferred the fraudulently obtained funds from his bank account to his personal individual retirement account. He also wrote unauthorized checks from the St. Francis bank account payable to himself and deposited those checks into his personal individual retirement account.

Mattingly fraudulently deposited more than 500 checks, totaling at least $76,000, written by more than 135 parishioners and made payable to St. Francis or the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and not to Mattingly.

Mattingly and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement he will be sentenced to home detention from six to 18 months. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for July 31, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, and St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan E. Foreman, who is prosecuting the case.

11 Responses to Former Pastor from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church Pleads Guilty to Federal Bank Fraud Charges

  1. Ignoranceisbliss on May 3, 2017 at 8:30 am

    I guess people do not know the difference between a priest and a pastor.

  2. Anonymous on May 3, 2017 at 8:32 am

    That sentence is laughable. His age and occupation should have no barring on his sentencing. This guy prayed on the faith of his parishioners so he could steal their money. In the 1800’s he would have been referred to as a snake oil salesman. Offering fake claims of salvation and redemption all for personal gain. In biblical days they would stone him for breaking one of the commandments.

  3. Anonymous on May 3, 2017 at 8:46 am

    I bet if you investigate the church system… you’ll find many more that are doing this.

  4. F. Aiello on May 3, 2017 at 10:09 am

    What a big disappointment! Wonder what his confession was like? Just so sad for those trusting parishioners !

  5. GetBack on May 3, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Gee – can’t the good father scream “separation of church and state”?

    $76K theft gets you home detention? GOOD DEAL!

    Just hope no alter boys come forward with complaints and you are HOME FREE!

    • justsomedude on May 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      You’re not kiddin’. Absolutely no mention of repayment of the $76K. Shameful/laughable….

  6. Anonymous on May 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Home detention…that will teach him a lesson

  7. Dirt on May 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Home detention…that will sure teach him a lesson

    • Anonymous on May 4, 2017 at 8:03 am

      I agree, it will be hell for a 71 year old to sit at home all day watching his stories. He will miss out on all the concerts, and rock climbing, and hang gliding he did before. I know you were being sarcastic but I wanted to add a little more sarcasm to the mix. This is a pathetic punishment for the crime he committed. He is nothing but a con man that prayed on peoples faith and generosity and he deserves prison. Along with prison they should sell all his worldly possessions to reimburse the charities he should have given that money to.

      • WandaW on May 5, 2017 at 11:30 am

        You wrote:

        that prayed on peoples faith and generosity

        Should be:

        that preyed on peoples faith and generosity

  8. Anonymous on May 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Speaking of federal banks, or federal reserve banks, for which there are no branches, unless you consider your local bank or credit union to be a branch of the federal reserve, which is legitimate. Sorry, but none of the federal income tax goes to federal government services, such as getting assistance when visiting the library of Congress, or making sure Army chaplains are available for hearing Catholic confessions. It all goes . . . to pay interest on the federal debt, or, to pay interest to the federal reserve for the currency that is borrowed, not owned. Yes, the US currency is on loan.