PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia's former chief financial officer was sentenced to two to seven years in prison Friday for embezzlement, court records said.
Anita Guzzardi, 42, was given the prison term by Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler. In July, Guzzardi admitted stealing $906,000 from the church treasury, from 2004 until she was caught last year, the Philadelphia, Pa., Inquirer reported Friday.
Her attorney, Louis Busico, urged the judge to impose probation so she could work to repay the funds, adding she has returned $260,000 to the Catholic Archdiocese since her arrest in March.
Busico also said the theft was caused by Guzzardi's gambling addiction that in turn was triggered by feelings of betrayal after the District Attorney's Office announced its first grand jury report in 2005 of alleged sexual abuse of children by some priests in the Archdiocese.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Caulfield called the addiction an excuse and said Guzzardi was motivated by greed.
Guzzardi was ordered to serve probation after her prison release and to pay $646,627 restitution to the Archdiocese, the newspaper said.