- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Over objections from prosecutors, a judge says a Detroit-area woman accused of a church embezzlement scheme can travel to France next week.

Janice Verschuren arranged the trip for 15 people, including World War II veterans. She was ordered to surrender her passport last week, but a different judge approved the travel Tuesday.

Verschuren and the Rev. Ed Belczak are charged with fraud and conspiracy in a scheme to steal nearly $700,000 from St. Thomas More church in Troy.

Belczak was the pastor, and Verschuren was his parish administrator. They deny the charges.

Prosecutors objected to Verschuren’s trip, arguing she might not return from Europe. The government says commissions from arranging church-related trips are part of the fraud case.


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