Ohio priest imprisoned in tax fraud case retires

AKRON, Ohio - A northeast Ohio Catholic priest who embezzled money from an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center he founded has retired after serving a six-month prison sentence for tax fraud.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the bishop in Cleveland granted the retirement request of Rev. Samuel Ciccolini (chih-koh-LEE'-nee) last month. The 70-year-old priest from Akron cited health reasons in his request.

A diocese spokesman says Ciccolini is banned from public ministry.

Ciccolini couldn't be reached for comment. A message was left Thursday at his residence.

His request came the month after he was released from federal prison.

The priest was a beloved figure around Akron, where people were shocked by his 2010 arrest. He admitted embezzling more than $1 million, but the money was repaid and he wasn't charged for that.

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