- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) - A former Havre priest has denied federal charges that allege he took nearly $65,000 from St. Jude Thaddeus Church.

Dale Yurkovic pleaded not guilty to wire fraud and money laundering during an April 8 hearing before U.S. Magistrate Keith Strong in Great Falls. Yurkovic’s trial is set for June 18, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Yurkovic served as pastor at the Havre parish from July 2009 to late 2011 and lives in Las Vegas, the Havre Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1gQFAmx ).

The indictment alleges that in December 2009, Yurkovic deposited a $50,000 donation to the church into a credit union account he opened without the church’s knowledge, then transferred the money to his personal account. Prosecutors allege he also transferred just over $14,500 from a church account to his account in February 2010.

Yurkovic also faces forfeiture if he is found guilty of either the wire fraud or money laundering charge.

Federal public defender Vann Arvanetes was assigned to represent Yurkovic. Arvanetes was not in his office Friday afternoon.

The offices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings were closed Friday.

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Information from: Havre Daily News, http://www.havredailynews.com

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